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Title: Acadia - or, A Month with the Blue Noses
Author: Cozzens, Frederic S.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Acadia - or, A Month with the Blue Noses" ***

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[Illustration: _"This, with the antique kirtle and picturesque petticoat
is an Acadian portrait." PAGE 56._]

[Illustration: _"There is nothing modern in the face or drapery of this
figure. She might have stepped out of Normandy a century ago." PAGE
40._]

                             ACADIA;


                   A MONTH WITH THE BLUE NOSES.

                               BY

                       FREDERIC S. COZZENS,

                 AUTHOR OF "SPARROWGRASS PAPERS."


                 This is Acadia--this is the land
                 That weary souls have sighed for;
                 This is Acadia--this is the land
                 Heroic hearts have died for:
                 Yet, strange to tell, this promised land
                 Has never been applied for!

                             PORTER.

                            NEW YORK:

                 DERBY & JACKSON, 119 NASSAU STREET.

                              1859.

       Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, by

                       FREDERIC S. COZZENS,

 In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
                   Southern District of New York.

                   W.H. TINSON, Stereotyper.

                   GEO. RUSSELL & Co., Printers.



PREFACE.


As I have a sort of religion in literature, believing that no author can
justly intrude upon the public without feeling that his writings may be of
some benefit to mankind, I beg leave to apologize for this little book. I
know, no critic can tell me better than I know myself, how much it falls
short of what might have been done by an abler pen. Yet it is
something--an index, I should say, to something better. The French in
America may sometime find a champion. For my own part, I would that the
gentler principles which governed them, and the English under William
Penn, and the Dutch under the enlightened rule of the States General, had
obtained here, instead of the narrower, the more penurious, and most
prescriptive policy of their neighbors.

I am indebted to Judge Haliburton's "History of Nova Scotia" for the main
body of historical facts in this volume. Let me acknowledge my
obligations. His researches and impartiality are most creditable, and
worthy of respect and attention. I have also drawn as liberally as time
and space would permit from chronicles contemporary with the events of
those early days, as well as from a curious collection of items relating
to the subject, cut from the London newspapers a hundred years ago, and
kindly furnished me by Geo. P. Putnam, Esq. These are always the surest
guides. To Mrs. Kate Williams, of Providence, R. I., I am indebted also.
Her story of the "Neutral French," no doubt, inspired the author of the
most beautiful pastoral in the language. The "Evangeline" of Longfellow,
and the "Pauline" of this lady's legend, are pictures of the same
individual, only drawn by different hands.

A word in regard to the two Acadian portraits. These are literal
ambrotypes, to which Sarony has added a few touches of his artistic
crayon. It may interest the reader to know that these are the first, the
only likenesses of the real Evangelines of Acadia. The women of
Chezzetcook appear at day-break in the city of Halifax, and as soon as the
sun is up vanish like the dew. They have usually a basket of fresh eggs, a
brace or two of worsted socks, a bottle of fir-balsam to sell. These
comprise their simple commerce. When the market-bell rings you find them
not. To catch such fleeting phantoms, and to transfer them to the
frontispiece of a book published here, is like painting the burnished
wings of a humming-bird. A friend, however, undertook the task. He rose
before the sun, he bought eggs, worsted socks, and fir-balsam of the
Acadians. By constant attentions he became acquainted with a pair of
Acadian women, niece and aunt. Then he proposed the matter to them:

"I want you to go with me to the daguerreotype gallery."

"What for?"

"To have your portraits taken."

"What for?"

"To send to a friend in New York."

"What for?"

"To be put in a book."

"What for?"

"Never mind 'what for,' will you go?"

Aunt and niece--both together in a breath--"No."

So my friend, who was a wise man, wrote to the priest of the settlement of
Chezzetcook, to explain the "what for," and the consequence was--these
portraits! But these women had a terrible time at the head of the first
flight of stairs. Not an inch would these shy creatures budge beyond. At
last, the wife of the operator induced them to rise to the high flight
that led to the Halifax skylight, and there they were painted by the sun,
as we see them now.

Nothing more! Ring the bell, prompter, and draw the curtain.



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Vague Rumors of Nova Scotia--A Fortnight upon Salt Water--Interesting
Sketch of the Atlantic--Halifax!--Determine to stay in the
Province--Province Building and Pictures--Coast Scenery--Liberty in
Language, and Aspirations of the People--Evangeline and Relics of
Acadia--Market-Place--The Encampment at Point Pleasant--Kissing
Bridge--The "Himalaya"--A Sabbath in a Garrison Town--Grand Celebration
of the Peace, and Natal Day of Halifax--And a Hint of a Visit to
Chezzetcook                                                              13

CHAPTER II.

Fog clears up--The One Idea not comprehended by the American Mind--A
June Morning in the Province--The Beginning of the Evangeliad--Intuitive
Perception of Genius--The Forest Primeval--Acadian Peasants--A Negro
Settlement--Deer's Castle--The Road to Chezzetcook--Acadian Scenery--A
Glance at the Early History of Acadia--First Encroachments of the
English--The Harbor and Village of Chezzetcook, etc., etc.               34

CHAPTER III.

A Romp at Three Fathom Harbor--The Moral Condition of the Acadians--The
Wild Flowers of Nova Scotia--Mrs. Deer's Wit--No Fish--Picton--The
Balaklava Schooner--And a Voyage to Louisburgh                           58

CHAPTER IV.

The Voyage of the "Balaklava"--Something of a Fog--A Novel
Sensation--Picton bursts out--"Nothing to do"--Breakfast under Way--A
Phantom Boat--Mackerel--Gone, Hook and Line--The Colonists--Sectionalism
and Prejudices--Cod-fishing and an Unexpected Banquet--Past the old
French Town--A Pretty Respectable Breeze--We get past the
Rocks--Louisburgh                                                        77

CHAPTER V.

Louisburgh--The Great French Fortress--Incidents of the Old French
War--Relics of the Siege--Description of the Town--The two
Expeditions--A Yankee _ruse de guerre_--The Rev. Samuel Moody's
Grace--Wolfe's Landing--The Fisherman's Hutch--The Lost Coaster--The
Fisheries--Picton tries his hand at a Fish-pugh                         102

CHAPTER VI.

A most acceptable Invitation--An Evening in the Hutch--Old Songs--Picton
in High Feather--Wolfe and Montcalm--Reminiscences of the
Siege--Anecdotes of Wolfe--A Touch of Rhetoric and its Consequences     121

CHAPTER VII.

The other side of the Harbor--A Foraging Party--Disappointment--Twilight
at Louisburgh--Long Days and Early Mornings--A Visit and View of an
Interior--A Shark Story--Picton inquires about a Measure--Hospitality
and the Two Brave Boys--Proposals for a Trip Overland to Sydney         133

CHAPTER VIII.

A Blue-Nosed Pair of the most Cerulean Hue--Prospects of a Hard
Bargain--Case of Necessity--Romantic Lake with an Unromantic Name--The
Discussion concerning Oatmeal--Danger of the Gasterophili--McGibbet
makes a Proposition--Farewell to the "Balaklava"--A Midnight
Journey--Sydney--Boat Excursion to the Micmacs--Picton takes off his
Mackintosh                                                              154

CHAPTER IX.

The Micmac Camp--Indian Church-warden and Broker--Interior of a
Wigwam--A Madonna--A Digression--Malcolm Discharged--An Indian
Bargain--The Inn Parlor, and a Comfortable Night's Rest                 176

CHAPTER X.

Over the Bay--A Gigantic Dumb Waiter--Erebus--Reflections--White and
Black Squares of the Chess-Board--Leave-taking--An Interruption--The
Aibstract Preencipels of Feenance                                       185

CHAPTER XI.

The Bras d'Or Road--Farewell to Picton--Home, Sweet Home--The Rob Roys of
Cape Breton--Note and Query--Chapel Island--St. Peter's--Enterprise--The
Strait of Canseau--West River--The Last Out-post of the Scottish Chiefs 196

CHAPTER XII.

The Ride from West River--A Fellow Passenger--Parallels of History--One
Hundred Romances--Baron de Castine--His Character--Made Chief of the
Abenaquis--Duke of York's Charter--Encroachments of the
Puritans--Church's Indian Wars--False Reports--Reflections              212

CHAPTER XIII.

Truro--On the Road to Halifax--Drive to the Left--A Member of the
Foreign Legion--Irish Wit at Government Expense--The first Battle of the
Legion--Ten Pounds Reward--Sir John Gaspard's Revenge--The Shubenacadie
Lakes--Dartmouth Ferry, and the Hotel Waverley                          224

CHAPTER XIV.

Halifax again--Hotel Waverley--"Gone the Old Familiar Faces"--The Story
of Marie de la Tour                                                     237

CHAPTER XV.

Bedford Basin--Legend of the two French Admirals--An Invitation to
the Queen--Visit to the Prince's Lodge--A Touch of Old England--The
Ruins                                                                   251

CHAPTER XVI.

The Last Night--Farewell, Hotel Waverley--Friends Old and New--What
followed the Marriage of La Tour le Borgne--Invasion of Col. Church     258

CHAPTER XVII.

A few more Threads of History--Acadia again lost--The Oath of
Allegiance--Settlement of Halifax--The brave Three Hundred--Massacre at
Norridgewoack--Le Père Ralle                                            269

CHAPTER XVIII.

On the road to Windsor--The great Nova Scotia Railway--A Fellow
Passenger--Cape Sable Shipwrecks--Seals--Ponies--Windsor--Sam Slick--A
lively Example                                                          279

CHAPTER XIX.

Windsor-upon-Avon--Ride to the Gasperau--The Basin of
Minas--Blomidon--This is the Acadian Land--Basil, the
Blacksmith--A Yankee Settlement--Useless Reflections                    293

CHAPTER XX.

The Valley of Acadia--A Morning Ride to the Dykes--An unexpected
Wild-duck Chase--High Tides--The Gasperau--Sunset--The Lamp of
History--Conclusion                                                     302

APPENDIX                                                                317



ACADIA.

CHAPTER I.

Vague Rumors of Nova Scotia--A Fortnight upon Salt Water--Interesting
Sketch of the Atlantic--Halifax!--Determine to stay in the
Province--Province Building and Pictures--Coast Scenery--Liberty in
Language, and Aspirations of the People--Evangeline and Relics of
Acadia--Market-Place--The Encampment at Point Pleasant--Kissing
Bridge--The "Himalaya"--A Sabbath in a Garrison Town--Grand Celebration
of the Peace, and Natal Day of Halifax--And a Hint of a Visit to
Chezzetcook.


It is pleasant to visit Nova Scotia in the month of June. Pack up your
flannels and your fishing tackle, leave behind you your prejudices and
your summer clothing, take your trout-pole in one hand and a copy of
Haliburton in the other, and step on board a Cunarder at Boston. In
thirty-six hours you are in the loyal little province, and above you
floats the red flag and the cross of St. George. My word for it, you
will not regret the trip. That the idea of visiting Nova Scotia ever
struck any living person as something peculiarly pleasant and cheerful,
is not within the bounds of probability. Very rude people are wont to
speak of Halifax in connection with the name of a place never alluded to
in polite society--except by clergymen. As for the rest of the Province,
there are certain vague rumors of extensive and constant fogs, but
nothing more. The land is a sort of terra incognita. Many take it to be
a part of Canada, and others firmly believe it is somewhere in
Newfoundland.

In justice to Nova Scotia, it is proper to state that the Province is a
province by itself; that it hath its own governor and parliament, and
its own proper and copper currency. How I chanced to go there was
altogether a matter of destiny. It was a severe illness--a gastric
disorder of the most obstinate kind, that cast me upon its balmy shores.
One day, after a protracted relapse, as I was creeping feebly along
Broadway, sunning myself, like a March fly on a window-pane, whom should
I meet but St. Leger, my friend. "You look pale," said St. Leger. To
which I replied by giving him a full, complete, and accurate history of
my ailments, after the manner of valetudinarians. "Why do you not try
change of air?" he asked; and then briskly added, "You could spare a
couple of weeks or so, could you not, to go to the Springs?" "I could,"
said I, feebly. "Then," said St. Leger, "take the two weeks' time, but
do not go to the Springs. Spend your fortnight on the salt water--get
out of sight of land--that is the thing for you." And so, shaking my
hand warmly, St. Leger passed on, and left me to my reflections.

A fortnight upon salt water? Whither? Cape Cod at once loomed up;
Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard. "And why not the Bermudas?" said a
voice within me; "the enchanted Islands of Prospero, and Ariel, and
Miranda; of Shakspeare, and Raleigh, and Irving?" And echo answered:
"Why not?"

It is but a day-and-a-half's sail to Halifax; thence, by a steamer, to
those neighboring isles; for the Curlew and the Merlin, British
mail-boats, leave Halifax fortnightly for the Bermudas. A thousand miles
of life-invigorating atmosphere--a week upon salt water, and you are
amid the magnificent scenery of the Tempest! And how often had the vague
desire impressed me--how often, indeed, had I visited, in imagination,
those beautiful scenes, those islands which have made Shakspeare our
near kinsman; which are part and parcel of the romantic history of Sir
Walter Raleigh! For, even if he do describe them, in his strong old
Saxon, as "the Bermudas, a hellish sea for Thunder, and Lightning, and
Storms," yet there is a charm even in this description, for doubtless
these very words gave a title to the great drama of William of
Stratford, and suggested the idea of

    "The still-vexed Bermoöthes."

Ah, yes! and who that has read Irving's "Three Kings of Bermuda" has not
felt the influence of those Islas Encantadas--those islands of palms and
coral, of orange groves and ambergris! "A fortnight?" said I, quoting St.
Leger; "I will take a month for it." And so, in less than a week from the
date of his little prescription, I was bidding farewell to some dear
friends, from the deck of the "Canada," at East Boston wharf, as Captain
Lang, on the top of our wheel-house, shouted out, in a very briny voice:
"Let go the starboard bow chain--go slow!"

It would be presumptuous in me to speak of the Atlantic, from the limited
acquaintance I had with it. The note-book of an invalid for two days at
sea, with a heavy ground swell, and the wind in the most favorable
quarter, can scarcely be attractive. As the breeze freshened, and the tars
of old England ran aloft, to strip from the black sails the wrappers of
white canvas that had hid them when in port; and as these leathern,
bat-like pinions spread out on each side of the funnel, there was a
moment's glimpse of the picturesque; but it was a glimpse only, and no
more. One does not enjoy the rise and dip of the bow of a steamer, at
first, however graceful it may be in the abstract. To be sure, there were
some things else interesting. For instance, three brides aboard! And one
of them lovely enough to awaken interest, on sea or land, in any body but
a Halifax passenger. I hope those fair ladies will have a pleasant tour,
one and all, and that the view they take of the great world, so early in
life, will make them more contented with that minor world, henceforth to
be within the limits of their dominion. Lullaby to the young wives! there
will be rocking enough anon!

But we coasted along pleasantly enough the next day, within sight of the
bold headlands of Maine; the sky and sea clear of vapor, except the long
reek from the steamer's pipe. And then came nightfall and the northern
stars; and, later at night, a new luminary on the edge of the
horizon--Sambro' light; and then a sudden quenching of stars, and horizon,
lighthouse, ropes, spars, and smoke stack; the sounds of hoarse voices of
command in the obscurity; a trampling of men; and then down went the
anchor in the ooze, and the Canada was fog-bound in the old harbor of
Chebucto for the night, within a few miles of the city.

But with the early dawn, we awoke to hear the welcome sounds of the
engines in motion, and when we reached the deck, the mist was drifted with
sunlight, and rose and fell in luminous billows on water and shore, and
then lifted, lingered, and vanished!

"And this is Halifax?" said I, as that quaint, mouldy old town poked its
wooden gables through the fog of the second morning. "This is Halifax?
This the capital of Nova Scotia? This the city that harbored those loyal
heroes of the Revolution, who gallantly and gayly fought, and bled, and
ran for their king? Ah! you brave old Tories; you staunch upholders of the
crown; cavaliers without ringlets or feathers, russet boots or
steeple-crown hats, it seems as if you were still hovering over this
venerable tabernacle of seven hundred gables, and wreathing each
particular ridge-pole, pigeon-hole, and shingle with a halo of fog."

The plank was laid, and the passengers left the steamer. There were a few
vehicles on the wharf for the accommodation of strangers; square, black,
funereal-like, wheeled sarcophagi, eminently suggestive of burials and
crape. Of course I did not ride in one, on account of unpleasant
associations; but, placing my trunk in charge of a cart-boy with a
long-tailed dray, and a diminutive pony, I walked through the silent
streets towards "The Waverley."

It was an inspiriting morning, that which I met upon the well-docked
shores of Halifax, and although the side-walks of the city were neither
bricked nor paved with flags, and the middle street was in its original
and aboriginal clay, yet there was novelty in making its acquaintance.
Everybody was asleep in that early fog; and when everybody woke up, it was
done so quietly that the change was scarcely apparent.

But the "Merlin," British mailer, is to sail at noon for the Shakspeare
Island, and breakfast must be discussed, and then once more I am with you,
my anti-bilious ocean. It chanced, however, I heard at breakfast, that the
"Curlew," the mate of the "Merlin," had been lost a short time before at
sea, and as there was but one, and not two steamers on the route, so that
I would be detained longer with Prospero and Miranda than might be
comfortable in the approaching hot weather, it came to pass that I had
reluctantly to forego the projected voyage, and anchor my trunk of
tropical clothing in room Number Twenty, Hotel Waverley. It was a great
disappointment, to be sure, after such brilliant anticipations--but what
is life without philosophy? When we cannot get what we wish, let us take
what we may. Let the "Merlin" sail! I will visit, instead of those Islas
Encantadas, "The Acadian land on the shore of the Basin of Minas." Let the
"Merlin" sail! I will see the ruined walls of Louisburgh, and the harbors
that once sheltered the Venetian sailor, Cabot. "Let her sail!" said I,
and when the morn passed I saw her slender thread of smoke far off on the
glassy ocean, without a sigh of regret, and resolutely turned my face from
the promised palms to welcome the sturdy pines of the province.

The city hill of Halifax rises proudly from its wharves and shipping in a
multitude of mouse-colored wooden houses, until it is crowned by the
citadel. As it is a garrison town, as well as a naval station, you meet in
the streets red-coats and blue-jackets without number; yonder, with a
brilliant staff, rides the Governor, Sir John Gaspard le Marchant, and
here, in a carriage, is Admiral Fanshawe, C.B., of the "Boscawen"
Flag-ship. Every thing is suggestive of impending hostilities; war, in
burnished trappings, encounters you at the street corners, and the air
vibrates from time to time with bugles, fifes, and drums. But oh! what a
slow place it is! Even two Crimean regiments with medals and decorations
could not wake it up. The little old houses seem to look with wondrous
apathy as these pass by, as though they had given each other a quiet nudge
with their quaint old gables, and whispered: "Keep still!"

I wandered up and down those old streets in search of something
picturesque, but in vain; there was scarcely any thing remarkable to
arrest or interest a stranger. Such, too, might have been the appearance
of other places I wot of, if those staunch old loyalists had had their way
in the days gone by!

But the Province House, which is built of a sort of yellow sand-stone,
with pillars in front, and trees around it, is a well-proportioned
building, with an air of great solidity and respectability. There are in
it very fine full-lengths of King George II. and Queen Caroline, and two
full-lengths of King George III. and Queen Charlotte; a full-length of
Chief-Justice Haliburton, and another full-length, by Benjamin West, of
another chief-justice, in a red robe and a formidable wig. Of these
portraits, the two first-named are the most attractive; there is something
so gay and festive in the appearance of King George II. and Queen
Caroline, so courtly and sprightly, so graceful and amiable, that one is
tempted to exclaim: "Bless the painter! what a genius he had!"

And now, after taking a look at Dalhousie College with the parade in
front, and the square town-clock, built by his graceless Highness the Duke
of Kent, let us climb Citadel Hill, and see the formidable protector of
town and harbor. Lively enough it is, this great stone fortress, with its
soldiers, swarming in and out like bees, and the glimpses of country and
harbor are surpassingly beautiful; but just at the margin of this slope
below us, is the street, and that dark fringe of tenements skirting the
edge of this green glacis is, I fear me, filled with vicious inmates.
Yonder, where the blackened ruins of three houses are visible, a sailor
was killed and thrown out of a window not long since, and his shipmates
burned the houses down in consequence; there is something strikingly
suggestive in looking upon this picture and on that.

But if you cast your eyes over yonder magnificent bay, where vessels
bearing flags of all nations are at anchor, and then let your vision sweep
past and over the islands to the outlets beyond, where the quiet ocean
lies, bordered with fog-banks that loom ominously at the boundary-line of
the horizon, you will see a picture of marvellous beauty; for the coast
scenery here transcends our own sea-shores, both in color and outline. And
behind us again stretch large green plains, dotted with cottages, and
bounded with undulating hills, with now and then glimpses of blue water;
and as we walk down Citadel Hill, we feel half-reconciled to Halifax, its
queer little streets, its quaint, mouldy old gables, its soldiers and
sailors, its fogs, cabs, penny and half-penny tokens, and all its little,
odd, outlandish peculiarities. Peace be with it! after all, it has a quiet
charm for an invalid!

The inhabitants of Halifax exhibit no trifling degree of freedom in
language for a loyal people; they call themselves "Halligonians." This
title, however, is sometimes pronounced "'Alligonians," by the more rigid,
as a mark of respect to the old country. But innovation has been at work
even here, for the majority of Her Majesty's subjects aspirate the letter
H. Alas for innovation! who knows to what results this trifling error may
lead? When Mirabeau went to the French court without buckles in his shoes,
the barriers of etiquette were broken down, and the Swiss Guards fought in
vain.

There is one virtue in humanity peculiarly grateful to an invalid; to him
most valuable, by him most appreciated, namely, hospitality. And that the
'Alligonians are a kind and good people, abundant in hospitality, let me
attest. One can scarcely visit a city occupied by those whose grandsires
would have hung your rebel grandfathers (if they had caught them), without
some misgivings. But I found the old Tory blood of three Halifax
generations, yet warm and vital, happy to accept again a rebellious
kinsman, a real live Yankee, in spite of Sam Slick and the Revolution.

Let us take a stroll through these quiet streets. This is the Province
House with its Ionic porch, and within it are the halls of Parliament, and
offices of government. You see there is a red-coat with his sentry-box at
either corner. Behind the house again are two other sentries on duty, all
glittering with polished brass, and belted, gloved, and bayoneted, in
splendid style. Of what use are these satellites, except to watch the
building and keep it from running away? On the street behind the Province
House is Fuller's American Book-store, which we will step into, and now
among these books, fresh from the teeming presses of the States, we feel
once more at home. Fuller preserves his equanimity in spite of the
blandishments of royalty, and once a year, on the Fourth of July, hoists
the "stars and stripes," and bravely takes dinner with the United States
Consul, in the midst of lions and unicorns. Many pleasant hours I passed
with Fuller, both in town and country. Near by, on the next corner, is the
print-store of our old friends the Wetmores, and here one can see costly
engravings of Landseer's fine pictures, and indeed whole portfolios of
English art. But of all the pictures there was one, the most touching, the
most suggestive! The presiding genius of the place, the unsceptred Queen
of this little realm was before me--Faed's Evangeline! And this reminded
me that I was in the Acadian land! This reminded me of Longfellow's
beautiful pastoral, a poem that has spread a glory over Nova Scotia, a
romantic interest, which our own land has not yet inspired! I knew that I
was in Acadia; the historic scroll unrolled and stretched its long
perspective to earlier days; it recalled De Monts, and the la Tours; Vice
Admiral Destournelle, who ran upon his own sword, hard by, at Bedford
Basin; and the brave Baron Castine.

The largest settlement of the Acadians is in the neighborhood of Halifax.
In the early mornings, you sometimes see a few of these people in the
streets, or at the market, selling a dozen or so of fresh eggs, or a pair
or two of woollen socks, almost the only articles of their simple
commerce. But you must needs be early to see them; after eight o'clock,
they will have all vanished. Chezzetcook, or, as it is pronounced by the
'Alligonians, "Chizzencook," is twenty-two miles from Halifax, and as the
Acadian peasant has neither horse nor mule, he or she must be off betimes
to reach home before mid-day nuncheon. A score of miles on foot is no
trifle, in all weathers, but Gabriel and Evangeline perform it cheerfully;
and when the knitting-needle and the poultry shall have replenished their
slender stock, off again they will start on their midnight pilgrimage,
that they may reach the great city of Halifax before day-break.

We must see Chezzetcook anon, gentle reader.

Let us visit the market-place. Here is Masaniello, with his fish in great
profusion. Codfish, three-pence or four-pence each; lobsters, a penny; and
salmon of immense size at six-pence a pound (currency), equal to a dime of
our money. If you prefer trout, you must buy them of these Micmac squaws
in traditional blankets, a shilling a bunch; and you may also buy baskets
of rainbow tints from these copper ladies for a mere trifle; and as every
race has a separate vocation here, only of the negroes can you purchase
berries. "This is a busy town," one would say, drawing his conclusion from
the market-place; for the shifting crowd, in all costumes and in all
colors, Indians, negroes, soldiers, sailors, civilians, and
Chizzincookers, make up a pageant of no little theatrical effect and
bustle. Again: if you are still strong in limb, and ready for a longer
walk, which I, leaning upon my staff, am not, we will visit the encampment
at Point Pleasant. The Seventy-sixth Regiment has pitched its tents here
among the evergreens. Yonder you see the soldiers, looking like masses of
red fruit amidst the spicy verdure of the spruces. Row upon row of tents,
and file upon file of men standing at ease, each one before his knapsack,
his little leather household, with its shoes, socks, shirts, brushes,
razors, and other furniture open for inspection. And there is Sir John
Gaspard le Marchant, with a brilliant staff, engaged in the pleasant duty
of picking a personal quarrel with each medal-decorated hero, and marking
down every hole in his socks, and every gap in his comb, for the honor of
the service. And this Point Pleasant is a lovely place, too, with a broad
look-out in front, for yonder lies the blue harbor and the ocean deeps.
Just back of the tents is the cookery of the camp, huge mounds of loose
stones, with grooves at the top, very like the architecture of a
cranberry-pie; and if the simile be an homely one, it is the best that
comes to mind to convey an idea of those regimental stoves, with their
seams and channels of fire, over which potatoes bubble, and roast and
boiled scud forth a savory odor. And here and there, wistfully regarding
this active scene, amid the green shrubbery, stands a sentinel before his
sentry-box, built of spruce boughs, wrought into a mimic military temple,
and fanciful enough, too, for a garden of roses. And look you now! If here
be not Die Vernon, with "habit, hat, and feather," cantering gayly down
the road between the tents, and behind her a stately groom in gold-lace
band, top-boots, and buck-skins. A word in your ear--that pleasant
half-English face is the face of the Governor's daughter.

The road to Point Pleasant is a favorite promenade in the long Acadian
twilights. Mid-way between the city and the Point lies "Kissing Bridge,"
which the Halifax maidens sometimes pass over. Who gathers toll nobody
knows, but I thought there was a mischievous glance in the blue eyes of
those passing damsels that said plainly they could tell, "an' they would."
I love to look upon those happy, healthy English faces; those ruddy
cheeks, flushed with exercise, and those well-developed forms, not less
attractive because of the sober-colored dresses and brown flat hats, in
which, o' summer evenings, they glide towards the mysterious precincts of
"The Bridge." What a tale those old arches could tell? _¿Quien sabe?_ Who
knows?

But next to "Kissing Bridge," the prominent object of interest, now, to
Halifax ladies, is the great steamer that lies at the Admiralty, the
Oriental screw-steamer Himalaya--the transport ship of two regiments of
the heroes of Balaklava, and Alma, and Inkerman, and Sebastopol. A vast
specimen of naval architecture; an unusual sight in these waters; a marine
vehicle to carry twenty-five hundred men! Think of this moving town; this
portable village of royal belligerents covered with glory and medals,
breasting the billows! Is there not something glorious in such a
spectacle? And yet I was told by a brave officer, who wore the decorations
of the four great battles on his breast, that of his regiment, the
Sixty-third, but thirty men were now living, and of the thirty, seventeen
only were able to attend drill. That regiment numbered a thousand at Alma!

No gun broke the silence of the Sabbath morning, as the giant ship moved
from the Admiralty, on the day following our visit to Point Pleasant, and
silently furrowed her path oceanward on her return to Gibraltar. A long
line of thick bituminous smoke, above the low house-tops, was the only
hint of her departure, to the citizens. It was a grand sight to see her
vast bulk moving among the islands in the harbor, almost as large as they.

And now, being Sunday, after looking in at the Cathedral, which does not
represent the usual pomp of the Romish Church, we will visit the Garrison
Chapel. A bugle-call from barracks, or Citadel Hill, salutes us as we
stroll towards the chapel; otherwise, Halifax is quiet, as becomes the
day. Presently we see the long scarlet lines approaching, and presently
the men, with orderly step, file from the street through the porch into
the gallery and pews. Then the officers of field and line, of ordnance and
commissary departments, take their allotted seats below. Then the chimes
cease, and the service begins. Most devoutly we prayed for the Queen, and
omitted the President of the United States.

As the Crimeans ebbed from the church, and, floating off in the distance,
wound slowly up Citadel Hill against the quiet clear summer sky, I could
not but think of these lines from Thomas Miller's "Summer Morning:"

      "A troop of soldiers pass with stately pace,
        Their early music wakes the village street:
      Through yon turned blinds peeps many a lovely face,
        Smiling perchance unconsciously how sweet!
      One does the carpet press with blue-veined feet,
        Not thinking how her fair neck she exposes,
      But with white foot timing the drum's deep beat;
        And when again she on her pillow dozes,
      Dreams how she'll dance that tune 'mong summer's sweetest roses

      "So let her dream, even as beauty should!
        Let the while plumes athwart her slumbers away!
      Why should I steep their swaling snows in blood,
        Or bid her think of battle's grim array?
      Truth will too soon her blinding star display,
        And like a fearful comet meet her eyes.
      And yet how peaceful they pass on their way!
        How grand the sight as up the hill they rise!
      _I will not think of cities reddening in the skies._"

It was my fate to see next day a great celebration. It was the celebration
of peace between England and Russia. Peace having been proclaimed, all
Halifax was in arms! Loyalty threw out her bunting to the breeze, and
fired her crackers. The civic authorities presented an address to the
royal representative of Her Majesty, requesting His Excellency to transmit
the same to the foot of the throne. Militia-men shot off municipal cannon;
bells echoed from the belfries; the shipping fluttered with signals; and
Citadel Hill telegraph, in a multitude of flags, announced that ships,
brigs, schooners, and steamers, in vast quantities, "were below." Nor was
the peace alone the great feature of the holiday. The eighth of June, the
natal day of Halifax, was to be celebrated also. For Halifax was founded,
so says the Chronicle, on the eighth of June, 1749, by the Hon. Edward
Cornwallis (not our Cornwallis), and the 'Alligonians in consequence made
a specialty of that fact once a year. And to add to the attraction, the
Board of Works had decided to lay the corner-stone of a Lunatic Asylum in
the afternoon; so there was no end to the festivities. And, to crown all,
an immense fog settled upon the city.

Leaning upon my friend Robert's arm and my staff, I went forth to see the
grand review. When we arrived upon the ground, in the rear of Citadel
Hill, we saw the outline of something glimmering through the fog, which
Robert said were shrubs, and which I said were soldiers. A few minutes'
walking proved my position to be correct; we found ourselves in the centre
of a three-sided square of three regiments, within which the civic
authorities were loyally boring Sir John Gaspard le Merchant and staff, to
the verge of insanity, with the Address which was to be laid at the foot
of the throne. Notwithstanding the despairing air with which His
Excellency essayed to reply to this formidable paper, I could not help
enjoying the scene; and I also noted, when the reply was over, and the few
ragamuffins near His Excellency cheered bravely, and the band struck up
the national anthem, how gravely and discreetly the rest of the
'Alligonians, in the circumambient fog, echoed the sentiment by a
silence, that, under other circumstances, would have been disheartening.
What a quiet people it is! As I said before, to make the festivities
complete, in the afternoon there was a procession to lay the corner-stone
of a Lunatic Asylum. But oh! how the jolly old rain poured down upon the
luckless pilgrimage! There were the "Virgins" of Masonic Lodge No.--, the
Army Masons, in scarlet; the African Masons, in ivory and black; the
Scotch-piper Mason, with his legs in enormous plaid trowsers, defiant of
Shakspeare's theory about the sensitiveness of some men, when the bag-pipe
sings i' the nose; the Clerical Mason in shovel hat; the municipal
artillery; the Sons of Temperance, and the band. Away they marched, with
drum and banner, key and compasses, BIBLE and sword, to Dartmouth, in
great feather, for the eyes of Halifax were upon them.



CHAPTER II.

Fog clears Up--The One Idea not comprehended by the American Mind--A June
Morning in the Province--The Beginning of the Evangeliad--Intuitive
Perception of Genius--The Forest Primeval--Acadian Peasants--A Negro
Settlement--Deer's Castle--The Road to Chezzetcook--Acadian Scenery--A
Glance at the Early History of Acadia--First Encroachments of the
English--The Harbor and Village of Chezzetcook--Etc., etc.


The celebration being over, the fog cleared up. Loyalty furled her flags;
the civic authorities were silent; the signal-telegraph was put upon short
allowance. But the 'Alligonian papers next day were loaded to the muzzle
with typographical missiles. From them we learned that there had been a
great amount of enthusiasm displayed at the celebration, and "everything
had passed off happily in spite of the weather." "Old Chebucto" was right
side up, and then she quietly sparkled out again.

There is one solitary idea, and only one, not comprehensible by the
American mind. I say it feebly, but I say it fearlessly, there is an idea
which does not present anything to the American mind but a blank. Every
metaphysical dog has worried the life out of every abstraction but this. I
strike my stick down, cross my hands, and rest my chin upon them, in
support of my position. Let anybody attempt to controvert it! "I say, that
in the American mind, there is no such thing as the conception even, of an
idea of tranquillity!" I once for a little repose, went to a "quiet
New-England village," as it was called, and the first thing that attracted
my attention there was a statement in the village paper, that no less than
twenty persons in that quiet place had obtained patent-rights for
inventions and improvements during the past year. They had been at
everything, from an apple-parer to a steam-engine. In the next column was
an article "on capital punishment," and the leader was thoroughly fired up
with a bran-new project for a railroad to the Pacific. That day I dined
with a member of Congress, a peripatetic lecturer, and the principal
citizens of the township, and took the return cars at night amid the glare
of a torch-light procession. Repose, forsooth? Why, the great busy city
seemed to sing lullaby, after the shock of that quiet New-England village.

But in this quaint, mouldy old town, one _can_ get an idea of the calm and
the tranquil--especially after a celebration. It has been said: "Halifax
is the only place that is finished." One can readily believe it. The
population has been twenty-five thousand for the last twenty-five years,
and a new house is beyond the memory of the oldest inhabitant.

The fog cleared up. And one of those inexpressibly balmy days followed.
June in Halifax represents our early May. The trees are all in bud; the
peas in the garden-beds are just marking the lines of drills with faint
stripes of green. Here and there a solitary bird whets his bill on the
bare bark of a forked bough. The chilly air has departed, and in its place
is a sense of freshness, of dewiness, of fragrance and delight. A sense of
these only, an instinctive feeling, that anticipates the odor of the rose
before the rose is blown. On such a morning we went forth to visit
Chezzetcook, and here, gentle reader, beginneth the Evangeliad.

The intuitive perception of genius is its most striking element. I was
told by a traveller and an artist, who had been for nearly twenty years on
the northwest coast, that he had read Irving's "Astoria" as a mere
romance, in early life, but when he visited the place itself, he found
that _he was reading the book over again_; that Irving's descriptions were
so minute and perfect, that he was at home in Astoria, and familiar, not
only with the country, but with individuals residing there; "for," said
he, "although many of the old explorers, trappers, and adventurers
described in the book were dead and gone, yet I found the descendants of
those pioneers had the peculiar characteristics of their fathers; and the
daughter of Concomly, whom I met, was as interesting a historical
personage at home as Queen Elizabeth would have been in Westminster Abbey.
At Vancouver's Island," said the traveller, "I found an old dingy copy of
the book itself, embroidered and seamed with interlineations and marginal
notes of hundreds of pens, in every style of chirography, yet all
attesting the faithfulness of the narrative. I would have given anything
for that copy, but I do not believe I could have purchased it with the
price of the whole island."

What but that wonderful clement of genius, _intuitive perception_, could
have produced such a book? Irving was never on the Columbia River, never
saw the northwest coast. "The materials were furnished him from the
log-books and journals of the explorers themselves," says Dr. Dryasdust.
True, my learned friend, but suppose I furnish you with pallet and colors,
with canvas and brushes, the materials of art, will you paint me as I sit
here, and make a living, breathing picture, that will survive my ashes for
centuries? "I have not the genius of the artist," replies Dr. Dryasdust.
Then, my dear Doctor, we will put the materials aside for the present, and
venture a little farther with our theory of "intuitive perception."

Longfellow never saw the Acadian Land, and yet thus his pastoral begins:

    "This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks."

This is the opening line of the poem: this is the striking feature of Nova
Scotia scenery. The shores welcome us with waving masses of foliage, but
not the foliage of familiar woods. As we travel on this hilly road to the
Acadian settlement, we look up and say, "This is the forest primeval," but
it is the forest of the poem, not that of our childhood. There is not, in
all this vast greenwood, an oak, an elm, a chestnut, a beech, a cedar or
maple. For miles and miles, we see nothing against the clear blue sky but
the spiry tops of evergreens; or perhaps, a gigantic skeleton, "a
rampike," pine or hemlock, scathed and spectral, stretches its gaunt
outline above its fellows. Spruces and firs, such as adorn our gardens,
cluster in never-ending profusion; and aromatic and unwonted odor pervades
the air--the spicy breath of resinous balsams. Sometimes the sense is
touched with a new fragrance, and presently we see a buckthorn, white
with a thousand blossoms. These, however, only meet us at times. The
distinct and characteristic feature of the forest is conveyed in that one
line of the poet.

And yet another feature of the forest primeval presents itself, not less
striking and unfamiliar. From the dead branches of those skeleton pines
and hemlocks, these _rampikes_, hang masses of white moss, snow-white,
amid the dark verdure. An actor might wear such a beard in the play of
King Lear. Acadian children wore such to imitate "_grandpère_," centuries
ago; Cowley's trees are "Patricians," these are Patriarchs.

                            ----"The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
    _Bearded with moss_, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
    Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic,
    _Stand like harpers hoar with beards that rest on their bosoms_."

We are re-reading Evangeline line by line. And here, at this turn of the
road, we encounter two Acadian peasants. The man wears an old tarpaulin
hat, home-spun worsted shirt, and tarry canvas trowsers; innovation has
certainly changed him, in costume at least, from the Acadian of our fancy;
but the pretty brown-skinned girl beside him, with lustrous eyes, and soft
black hair under her hood, with kirtle of antique form, and petticoat of
holiday homespun, is true to tradition. There is nothing modern in the
face or drapery of that figure. She might have stepped out of Normandy a
century ago,

    "Wearing her Norman cap, and her kirtle of blue, and the ear-rings
    Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heir-loom,
    Handed down from mother to child, through long generations."

Alas! the ear-rings are worn out with age! but save them, the picture is
very true to the life. As we salute the pair, we learn they have been
walking on their way since dawn from distant Chezzetcook: the man speaks
English with a strong French accent; the maiden only the language of her
people on the banks of the Seine.

    "Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers,
    Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the
            way-side:
    Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her
            tresses."

Who can help repeating the familiar words of the idyl amid such scenery,
and in such a presence?

"We are now approaching a Negro settlement," said my _compagnon de voyage_
after we had passed the Acadians; "and we will take a fresh horse at
Deer's Castle; this is rough travelling." In a few minutes we saw a log
house perched on a bare bone of granite that stood out on a ragged
hill-side, and presently another cabin of the same kind came in view. Then
other scare-crow edifices wheeled in sight as we drove along; all forlorn,
all patched with mud, all perched on barren knolls, or gigantic bars of
granite, high up, like ragged redoubts of poverty, armed at every window
with a formidable artillery of old hats, rolls of rags, quilts, carpets,
and indescribable bundles, or barricaded with boards to keep out the air
and sunshine.

"You do not mean to say those wretched hovels are occupied by living
beings?" said I to my companion.

"Oh yes," he replied, with a quiet smile, "these are your people, your
_fugitives_."

"But, surely," said I, "they do not live in those airy nests during your
intensely cold winters?"

"Yes," replied my companion, "and they have a pretty hard time of it.
Between you and I," he continued, "they are a miserable set of devils;
they won't work, and they shiver it out here as well as they can. During
the most of the year they are in a state of abject want, and then they are
very humble. But in the strawberry season they make a little money, and
while it lasts are fat and saucy enough. We can't do anything with them,
they won't work. There they are in their cabins, just as you see them, a
poor, woe-begone set of vagabonds; a burden upon the community; of no use
to themselves, nor to anybody else."

"Ye who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy and pursue with
eagerness the phantoms of hope, who expect that age will perform the
promises of youth, and that the deficiencies of the present day will be
supplied by the morrow, attend to the history of Rasselas, here in his
happy valley."

"Now then," said my companion, as this trite quotation was passing through
my mind. The wagon had stopped in front of a little, weather-beaten house
that kept watch and ward over an acre of greensward, broken ever and anon
with a projecting bone of granite, and not only fenced with stone, but
dotted also with various mounds of pebbles, some as large as a
paving-stone, and some much larger. This was "Deer's Castle." In front of
the castle was a swing-sign with an inscription:

    "William Deer, who lives here,
    Keeps the best of wine and beer,
    Brandy, and cider, and other good cheer;
    Fish, and ducks, and moose, and deer.
    Caught or shot in the woods just here,
    With cutlets, or steaks, as will appear;
    If you will stop you need not fear
    But you will be well treated by WILLIAM DEER,
    And by Mrs. DEER, his dearest, deary dear!"

I quote from memory. The precise words have escaped me, but the above is
the substance of the sense, and the metre is accurate.

It was a little, weather-beaten shanty of boards, that clung like flakes
to the frame-work. A show-box of a room, papered with select wood-cuts
from _Punch_ and the _Illustrated London News_, was the grand banquet-hall
of the castle. And indeed it was a castle compared with the wretched
redoubts of poverty around it. Here we changed horses, or rather we
exchanged our horse, for a diminutive, bantam pony, that, under the
supervision of "Bill," was put inside the shafts and buckled up to the
very roots of the harness. This Bill, the son and heir of the Castellen,
was a good-natured yellow boy, about fifteen years of age, with such a
development of under-lip and such a want of development elsewhere, that
his head looked like a scoop. There was an infinite fund of humor in
Billy, an uncontrollable sense of the comic, that would break out in spite
of his grave endeavors to put himself under guard. It exhibited itself in
his motions and gestures, in the flourish of his hands as he buckled up
the pony, in the looseness of his gait, the swing of his head, and the
roll of his eyes. His very language was pregnant with mirth; thus:

"Bill!"

"Cheh, cheh, sir? cheh."

"Is your father at home?"

"Cheh, cheh, father? cheh, cheh."

"Yes, your father?"

"Cheh, cheh, at home, sah? cheh."

"Yes, is your father at home?"

"I guess so, cheh, cheh."

"What is the matter with you, Bill? what are you laughing about?"

"Cheh, cheh, I don't know, sah, cheh, cheh."

"Well, take out the horse, and put in the pony; we want to go to
Chizzencook."

"Cheh, Cheh'z'ncook? Yes, sah," and so with that facetious gait and droll
twist of the elbow, Bill swings himself against the horse and unbuckles
him in a perpetual jingle of merriment.

"And this," said I to my companion, as we looked from the door-step of the
shanty upon the spiry tops of evergreens in the valley below us, and at
the wretched log-huts that were roosting up on the bare rocks around us,
"this is the negro settlement?"

"Yes," he replied.

"Are all the negro settlements in Nova Scotia as miserable, as this?"

"Yes," he answered; "you can tell a negro settlement at once by its
appearance."

"Then," I thought to myself, "I would, for poor Cuffee's sake, that
much-vaunted British sympathy and British philanthropy had something
better to show to an admiring world than the prospect around Deer's
Castle."

Notwithstanding the very generous banquet spread before the eyes of the
traveller, on the sign-board, we were compelled to dismiss the pleasant
fiction of the poet upon the announcement of Mrs. Deer, that "Nathin was
in de house 'cept bacon," and she "reckoned" she "might have an egg or two
by de time we got back from Chizzincook."

"But you have plenty of trout here in these streams?"

"Oh! yes, plenty, sah."

"Then let Bill catch some trout for us."

And so the pony being strapped up and buckled to the wagon, we left the
negro settlement for the French settlement. They are all in "settlements,"
here, the people of this Province. Centuries are mutable, but prejudices
never alter in the Colonies.

But we are again in the Acadian forest--a truce to moralizing--let us
enjoy the scenery. The road we are on is but a few miles from the
sea-shore, but the ocean is hidden from view by the thick woods. As we
ride along, however, we skirt the edges of coves and inlets that
frequently break in upon the landscape. There is a chain of fresh-water
lakes also along this road; sometimes we cross a bridge over a rushing
torrent; sometimes a calm expanse of water, doubling the evergreens at its
margin, comes in view; anon a gleam of sapphire strikes through the
verdure, and an ocean-bay with its shingly beach curves in and out between
the piny slopes. At last we reach the crest of a hill, and at the foot of
the road is another bridge, a house, a wharf, and two or three coasters at
anchor in a diminutive harbor. This is "Three Fathom Harbor." We are
within a mile of Chezzetcook.

Now if it were not for Pony we should press on to the settlement, but we
must give Pony a respite. Pony is an enthusiastic little fellow, but his
lungs are too much for him, they have blown him out like a bagpipe. A mile
farther and then eleven miles back to Deer's Castle, is a great
undertaking for so small an animal. In the meanwhile, we will ourselves
rest and take some "home-brewed" with the landlord, who is harbor-master,
inn-keeper, store-keeper, fisherman, shipper, skipper, mayor, and
corporation of Three Fathom Harbor, beside being father of the town, for
all the children in it are his own. A draught of foaming ale, a whiff or
two from a clay pipe, a look out of the window to be assured that Pony had
subsided, and we take leave of the corporate authority of Three Fathom
Harbor, and are once more on the road.

One can scarcely draw near to a settlement of these poor refugees without
a feeling of pity for the sufferings they have endured; and this spark of
pity quickly warms and kindles into indignation when we think of the story
of hapless Acadia--the grievous wrong done those simple-minded, harmless,
honest people, by the rapacious, free-booting adventurers of merry
England, and those precious filibusters, our Pilgrim Fathers.

The early explorations of the French in the young hemisphere which
Columbus had revealed to the older half of the world, have been almost
entirely obscured by the greater events which followed. Nearly a century
after the first colonies were established in New France, New England was
discovered. I shall not dwell upon the importance of this event, as it has
been so often alluded to by historians and others; and, indeed, I believe
it is generally acknowledged now, that the finding of the continent itself
would have been a failure had it not been for the discovery of
Massachusetts. As this, however, happened long after the establishment of
Acadia, and as the Pilgrim Fathers did not interfere with their French
neighbors for a surprising length of time, it will be as well not to
expatiate upon it at present. In the course of a couple of centuries or
so, I shall have occasion to allude to it, in connection with the story of
the neutral French.

In the year 1504, says the Chronicle, some fishermen from Brittany
discovered the island that now forms the eastern division of Nova Scotia,
and named it "Cape Breton." Two years after, Dennys of Harfleur, made a
rude chart of the vast sheet of water that stretches from Cape Breton and
Newfoundland to the mainland. In 1534, Cartier, sailing under the orders
of the French Admiral, Chabot, visited the coast of Newfoundland, crossed
the gulf Dennys had seen and described twenty-eight years before, and took
possession of the country around it, in the name of the king, his master.
As Cartier was recrossing the Gulf, on his return voyage, he named the
waters he was sailing upon "St. Lawrence," in honor of that saint whose
day chanced to turn up on the calendar at that very happy time. According
to some accounts, Baron de Lery established a settlement here as early as
1518. Some authorities state that a French colony was planted on the St.
Lawrence as early as 1524, and soon after others were formed in Canada and
Nova Scotia. In 1535, Cartier again crossed the waters of the Gulf, and
following the course of the river, penetrated into the interior until he
reached an island upon which was a hill; this he named "_Mont Real_."
Various adventurers followed these first discoverers and explorers, and
the coast was from time to time visited by French ships, in pursuit of the
fisheries.

Among these expeditions, one of the most eminent was that of Champlain,
who, in the year 1609, penetrated as far south as the head waters of the
Hudson River; visited Lake George and the cascades of Ticonderoga; and
gave his own name to the lake which lies between the proud shores of New
York and New England. Thence le Sr. Champlain, "_Capitaine pour le Roy_,"
travelled westward, as far as the country of the Hurons, giving to the
discovered territory the title of Nouvelle France; and to the lakes
Ontario, Erie, and Huron, the names of St. Louis, Mer Douce, and Grand
Lac; which any person can see by referring to the original chart in the
State library of New York. But before these discoveries of Champlain, an
important step had been taken by the parent government. In the year 1603,
an expedition, under the patronage of Henry IV., sailed for the New World.
The leader of this was a Protestant gentleman, by name De Monts. As the
people under his command were both Protestants and Catholics, De Monts had
permission given in his charter to establish, as one of the fundamental
laws of the Colony, the free exercise of "religious worship," upon
condition of settling in the country, and teaching the Roman Catholic
faith to the savages. Heretofore, all the countries discovered by the
French had been called New France, but in De Monts' Patent, that portion
of the territory lying east of the Penobscot and embracing the present
provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and part of Maine was named
"Acadia."

The little colony under De Monts flourished in spite of the rigors of the
climate, and its commander, with a few men, explored the coast on the St.
Lawrence and the bay of Fundy, as well as the rivers of Maine, the
Penobscot, the Kennebec, the Saco and Casco Bay, and even coasted as far
south as the long, hook-shaped cape that is now known in all parts of the
world as the famous Cape Cod. In a few years, the settlement began to
assume a smiling aspect; houses were erected, and lands were tilled; the
settlers planted seeds and gathered the increase thereof; gardens sprang
out of the wilderness, peace and order reigned everywhere, and the savage
tribes around viewed the kind, light-hearted colonists with admiration and
fraternal good-will. It is pleasant to read this part of the
chronicle--of their social meetings in the winter at the banqueting hall;
of the order of "_Le Bon Temps_," established by Champlain; of the great
pomp and insignia of office (a collar, a napkin, and staff) of the grand
chamberlain, whose government only lasted for a day, when he was
supplanted by another; of their dinners in the sunshine amid the
corn-fields; of their boats, banners, and music on the water; of their
gentleness, simplicity, and honest, hearty enjoyments. These halcyon days
soon came to an end. The infamous Captain Argall, hearing that a number of
white people had settled in this hyperborean region, set sail from
Jamestown for the colony, in a ship of fourteen guns, in the midst of a
profound peace, to burn, pillage, and slaughter the intruders upon the
territory of Virginia! Finding the people unprepared for defence, his
enterprise was successful. Argall took possession of the lands, in the
name of the King of England, laid waste some of the settlements, burned
the forts, and, under circumstances of peculiar perfidy, induced a number
of the poor Acadians to go with him to Jamestown. Here they were treated
as pirates, thrown into prison, and sentenced to be executed. Argall, who
it seems had some touch of manhood in his nature, upon this confessed to
the Governor, Sir Thomas Dale, that these people had a patent from the
King of France, which he had stolen from them and concealed, and that they
were not pirates, but simply colonists. Upon this, Sir Thomas Dale was
induced to fit out an expedition to dislodge the rest of them from Acadia.
Three ships were got ready, the brave Captain Argall was appointed
Commander-in-chief, and the first colony was terminated by fire and sword
before the end of the year. This was in 1613, ten years after the first
planting of Acadia.

"Some of the settlers," says the Chronicle, "finding resistance to be
unavailing, fled to the woods." What became of them history does not
inform us, but with a graceful appearance of candor, relates that the
transaction itself "was not approved of by the court of England, nor
resented by that of France." Five years afterward we find Captain Argall
appointed Deputy-Governor of Virginia.

This outrage was the initial letter only of a series that for nearly a
century and a half after, made the successive colonists of Acadia the prey
of their rapacious neighbors. We shall take up the story from time to
time, gentle reader, as we voyage around and through the province.
Meanwhile let us open our eyes again upon the present, for just below us
lies the village and harbor of Chezzetcook.

A conspiracy of earth and air and ocean had certainly broken out that
morning, for the ominous lines of Fog and Mist were hovering afar off upon
the boundaries of the horizon. Under the crystalline azure of a summer
sky, the water of the harbor had an intensity of color rarely seen, except
in the pictures of the most ultra-marine painters. Here and there a green
island or a fishing-boat rested upon the surface of the tranquil blue. For
miles and miles the eye followed indented grassy slopes, that rolled away
on either side of the harbor, and the most delicate pencil could scarcely
portray the exquisite line of creamy sand that skirted their edges and
melted off in the clear margin of the water. Occasional little cottages
nestle among these green banks, not the Acadian houses of the poem, "with
thatched roofs, and dormer windows projecting," but comfortable,
homely-looking buildings of modern shapes, shingled and un-weather-cocked.
No cattle visible, no ploughs nor horses. Some of the men are at work in
the open air; all in tarpaulin hats, all in tarry canvas trowsers. These
are boat-builders and coopers. Simple, honest, and good-tempered enough;
you see how courteously they salute us as we ride by them. In front of
every house there is a knot of curious little faces; Young Acadia is out
this bright day, and although Young Acadia has not a clean face on, yet
its hair is of the darkest and softest, and its eyes are lustrous and
most delicately fringed. Yonder is one of the veterans of the place, so we
will tie Pony to the fence, and rest here.

"Fine day you have here," said my companion.

"Oh yes! oh yes!" (with great deference and politeness).

"Can you give us anything in the way of refreshment? a glass of ale, or a
glass of milk?"

"Oh no!" (with the unmistakable shrug of the shoulders); "we no have milk,
no have ale, no have brandy, no have noting here: ah! we very poor peep'
here." (Poor people here.)

"Can we sit down and rest in one of your houses?"

"Oh yes! oh yes!" (with great politeness and alacrity); "walk in, walk in;
we very poor peep', no milk, no brandy: walk in."

The little house is divided by a partition. The larger half is the hall,
the parlor, kitchen, and nursery in one. A huge fire-place, an antique
spinning-wheel, a bench, and two settles, or high-backed seats, a table, a
cradle and a baby very wide awake, complete the inventory. In the
apartment adjoining is a bin that represents, no doubt, a French bedstead
of the early ages. Everything is suggestive of boat-builders, of Robinson
Crusoe work, of undisciplined hands, that have had to do with ineffectual
tools. As you look at the walls, you see the house is built of timbers,
squared and notched together, and caulked with moss or oakum.

"Very poor peep' here," says the old man, with every finger on his hands
stretched out to deprecate the fact. By the fire-side sits an old woman,
in a face all cracked and seamed with wrinkles, like a picture by one of
the old masters. "Yes," she echoes, "very poor peep' here, and very cold,
too, sometime." By this time the door-way is entirely packed with little,
black, shining heads, and curious faces, all shy, timid, and yet not the
less good-natured. Just back of the cradle are two of the Acadian women,
"knitters i' the sun," with features that might serve for Palmer's
sculptures; and eyes so lustrous, and teeth so white, and cheeks so rich
with brown and blush, that if one were a painter and not an invalid, he
might pray for canvas and pallet as the very things most wanted in the
critical moment of his life. Faed's picture does not convey the Acadian
face. The mouth and chin are more delicate in the real than in the ideal
Evangeline. If you look again, after the first surprise is over, you will
see that these are the traditional pictures, such as we might have fancied
they should be, after reading the idyl. From the forehead of each you see
at a glance how the dark mass of hair has been combed forward and over the
face, that the little triangular Norman cap might be tied across the crown
of the head. Then the hair is thrown back again over this, so as to form a
large bow in front, then re-tied at the crown with colored ribbons. Then
you see it has been plaited in a shining mesh, brought forward again, and
braided with ribbons, so that it forms, as it were, a pretty coronet,
well-placed above those brilliant eyes and harmonious features. This, with
the antique kirtle and picturesque petticoat, is an Acadian portrait. Such
is it now, and such it was, no doubt, when De Monts sailed from Havre de
Grace, two centuries and a half ago. In visiting this kind and simple
people, one can scarcely forget the little chapel. The young French priest
was in his garden, behind the little tenement, set apart for him by the
piety of his flock, and readily admitted us. A small place indeed was it,
but clean and orderly, the altar decorated with toy images, that were not
too large for a Christmas table. Yet I have been in the grandest
tabernacles of episcopacy with lesser feelings of respect than those which
were awakened in that tiny Acadian chapel. Peace be with it, and with its
gentle flock.

"Pony is getting impatient," said my companion, as we reverently stepped
from the door-way, "and it is a long ride to Halifax." So, with courteous
salutation on both sides, we take leave of the good father, and once more
are on the road to Deer's Castle.



CHAPTER III.

A Romp at Three Fathom Harbor--The Moral Condition of the Acadians--The
Wild Flowers of Nova Scotia--Mrs. Deer's Wit--No Fish--Picton--The
Balaklava Schooner--And a Voyage to Louisburgh.


Pony is very enterprising. We are soon at the top of the first long hill,
and look again, for the last time, upon the Acadian village. How cosily
and quietly it is nestled down amid those graceful green slopes! What a
bit of poetry it is in itself! Jog on, Pony!

The corporate authority of Three Fathom Harbor has been improving his time
during our absence. As we drive up we find him in high romp with a brace
of buxom, red-cheeked, Nova Scotia girls, who have just alighted from a
wagon. The landlady of Three Fathom Harbor, in her matronly cap, is
smiling over the little garden gate at her lord, who is pursuing his
Daphnes, and catching, and kissing, and hugging, first one and then the
other, to his heart's content. Notwithstanding their screams, and slaps,
and robust struggles, it is very plain to be seen that the skipper's
attentions are not very unwelcome. Leaving his fair friends, he catches
Pony by the bridle and stops us with a hospitable--"Come in--you must come
in; just a glass of ale, you'll want it;" and sure enough, we found when
we came to taste the ale, that we did want it, and many thanks to him, the
kind-hearted landlord of the Three Fathoms.

"It is surprising," said I to my companion, as we rolled again over the
road, "that these people, these Acadians, should still preserve their
language and customs, so near to your principal city, and yet with no more
affiliation than if they were on an island in the South Seas!"

"The reason of that," he replied, "is because they stick to their own
settlement; never see anything of the world except Halifax early in the
morning; never marry out of their own set; never read--I do not believe
one of them can read or write--and are in fact _so slow_, so destitute of
enterprise, so much behind the age"----

I could not avoid smiling. My companion observed it. "What are you
thinking about?" said he.

The truth is, I was thinking of Halifax, which was anything but a _fast_
place; but I simply observed:

"Your settlements here are somewhat novel to a stranger. That a mere
handful of men should be so near your city, and yet so isolated: that this
village of a few hundred only, should retain its customs and language,
intact, for generation after generation, within walking distance of
Halifax, seems to me unaccountable. But let me ask you," I continued,
"what is the moral condition of the Acadians?"

"As for that," said he, "I believe it stands pretty fair. I do not think
an Acadian would cheat, lie, or steal; I know that the women are virtuous,
and if I had a thousand pounds in my pocket I could sleep with confidence
in any of their houses, although all the doors were unlocked and everybody
in the village knew it."

"That," said I, "reminds one of the poem:

    'Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows,
    But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of their owners;
    There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.'"

Poor exiles! You will never see the Gasperau and the shore of the Basin of
Minas, but if this very feeble life I have holds out, I hope to visit
Grandpré and the broad meadows that gave a name to the village.

One thing Longfellow has certainly omitted in "Evangeline"--the wild
flowers of Acadia. The roadside is all fringed and tasselled with white,
pink, and purple. The wild strawberries are in blossom, whitening the turf
all the way from Halifax to Chezzetcook. You see their starry settlements
thick in every bit of turf. These are the silver mines of poor Cuffee; he
has the monopoly of the berry trade. It is his only revenue. Then in the
swampy grounds there are long green needles in solitary groups, surmounted
with snowy tufts; and here and there, clusters of light purple blossoms,
called laurel flowers, but not like our laurels, spring up from the bases
of grey rocks and boulders; sometimes a rich array of blood-red berries
gleams out of a mass of greenery; then again great floral white radii,
tipped with snowy petals, rise up profuse and lofty; down by the ditches
hundreds of pitcher plants lift their veined and mottled vases, brimming
with water, to the wood-birds who drink and perch upon their thick rims;
May-flowers of delightful fragrance hide beneath those shining,
tropical-looking leaves, and meadow-sweet, not less fragrant, but less
beautiful, pours its tender aroma into the fresh air; here again we see
the buckthorn in blossom; there, scattered on the turf, the scarlet
partridge berry; then wild-cherry trees, mere shrubs only, in full bud;
and around all and above all, the evergreens, the murmuring pines, and the
hemlocks; the rampikes--the grey-beards of the primeval forest; the spicy
breath of resinous balsams; the spiry tops, and the serene heaven. Is this
fairy land? No, it is only poor, old, barren Nova Scotia, and yet I think
Felix, Prince of Salerno, if he were here, might say, and say truly too,
"In all my life I never beheld a more enchanting place;" but Felix, Prince
of Salerno, must remember this is the month of June, and summer is not
perpetual in the latitude of forty-five.

We reach at last Deer's Castle. Pony, under the hands of Bill, seems
remarkably cheerful and fresh after his long travel up hill and down. When
he pops out of his harness, with his knock-knees and sturdy, stocky little
frame, he looks very like an animated saw-buck, clothed in seal-skin; and
with a jump, and snort, and flourish of tail, he escorts Bill to the
stable, as if twenty miles over a rough road was a trifle not worth
consideration.

A savory odor of frying bacon and eggs stole forth from the door as we
sat, in the calm summer air, upon the stone fence. William Deer, Jr., was
wandering about in front of the castle, endeavoring to get control of his
under lip and keep his exuberant mirth within the limits of decorum; but
every instant, to use a military figure, it would flash in the pan. Up on
the bare rocks were the wretched, woe-begone, patched, and ragged log
huts of poor Cuffee. The hour and the season were suggestive of
philosophizing, of theories, and questions.

"Mrs. Deer," said I, "is that your husband's portrait on the back of the
sign?" (there was a picture of a stag with antlers on the reverse of the
poetical swing-board, either intended as a pictographic pun upon the name
of "Deer," or as a hint to sportsmen of good game hereabouts).

"Why," replied Mrs. Deer, an old tidy wench, of fifty, pretty well bent by
rheumatism, and so square in the lower half of her figure, and so spare in
the upper, that she appeared to have been carved out of her own hips:
"why, as to dat, he ain't good-looking to brag on, but I don't think he
looks quite like a beast neither."

At this unexpected retort, Bill flashed off so many pans at once that he
seemed to be a platoon of militia. My companion also enjoyed it immensely.
Being an invalid, I could not participate in the general mirth.

"Mrs. Deer," said I, "how long have you lived here?"

"Oh, sah! a good many years; I cum here afore I had Bill dar." (Here
William flashed in the pan twice.)

"Where did you reside before you came to Nova Scotia?"

"Sah?"

"Where did you live?"

"Oh, sah! I is from Maryland." (William at it again.)

"Did you run away?"

"Yes, sah; I left when I was young. Bill, what you laughing at? _I_ was
young once."

"Were you married then--when you run away?"

"Oh yes, sah!" (a glance at Bill, who was off again).

"And left your husband behind in Maryland?"

"Yes, sah; but he didn't stay long dar after I left. He was after me putty
sharp, soon as I travelled;" (here Mrs. Deer and William interchanged
glances, and indulged freely in mirth).

"And which place do you like the best--this or Maryland?"

"Why, I never had no such work to do at home as I have to do here,
grubbin' up old stumps and stones; dem isn't women's work. When I was
home, I had only to wait on misses, and work was light and easy." (William
quiet.)

"But which place do you like the best--Nova Scotia or Maryland?"

"Oh! de work here is awful, grubbin' up old stones and stumps; 'tain't
fit for women." (William much impressed with the cogency of this
repetition.)

"But which place do you like the best?"

"And de winter here, oh! it's wonderful tryin." (William utters an
affirmative flash.)

"But which place do you like the best?"

"And den dere's de rheumatiz."

"But which place do you like the best, Mrs. Deer?"

"Well," said Mrs. Deer, glancing at Bill, "I like Nova Scotia best."
(Whatever visions of Maryland were gleaming in William's mind, seemed to
be entirely quenched by this remark.)

"But why," said I, "do you prefer Nova Scotia to Maryland? Here you have
to work so much harder, to suffer so much from the cold and the
rheumatism, and get so little for it;" for I could not help looking over
the green patch of stony grass that has been rescued by the labor of a
quarter century.

"Oh!" replied Mrs. Deer, "de difference is, dat when I work here, I work
for myself, and when I was working at home, I was working for other
people." (At this, William broke forth again in such a series of platoon
flashes, that we all joined in with infinite merriment.)

"Mrs. Deer," said I, recovering my gravity, "I want to ask you one more
question."

"Well, sah," said the lady Deer, cocking her head on one side, expressive
of being able to answer any number of questions in a twinkling.

"You have, no doubt, still many relatives left in Maryland?"

"Oh! yes," replied Mrs. Deer, "_all_ of dem are dar."

"And suppose you had a chance to advise them in regard to this matter,
would you tell them to run away, and take their part with you in Nova
Scotia, or would you advise them to stay where they are?"

Mrs. Deer, at this, looked a long time at William, and William looked
earnestly at his parent. Then she cocked her head on the other side, to
take a new view of the question. Then she gathered up mouth and eyebrows,
in a puzzle, and again broadened out upon Bill in an odd kind of smile; at
last she doubled up one fist, put it against her cheek, glanced at Bill,
and out came the answer: "Well, sah, I'd let 'em take dere _own_ heads for
dat!" I must confess the philosophy of this remark awakened in me a train
of very grave reflections; but my companion burst into a most obstreperous
laugh. As for Mrs. Deer, she shook her old hips as long as she could
stand, and then sat down and continued, until she wiped the tears out of
her eyes with the corner of her apron. William cast himself down upon a
strawberry bank, and gave way to the most flagrant mirth, kicking up his
old shoes in the air, and fairly wallowing in laughter and blossoms. I
endeavored to change the subject. "Bill, did you catch any trout?" It was
some time before William could control himself enough to say, "Not a
single one, sah;" and then he rolled over on his back, put his black paws
up to his eyes, and twitched and jingled to his heart's content. I did not
ask Mrs. Deer any more questions; but there is a moral in the story,
enough for a day.

As we rattled over the road, after our brief dinner at Deer's Castle, I
could not avoid a pervading feeling of gloom and disappointment, in spite
of the balmy air and pretty landscape. The old ragged abodes of
wretchedness seemed to be too clearly defined--to stand out too
intrusively against the bright blue sky. But why should I feel so much for
Cuffee? Has he not enlisted in his behalf every philanthropist in England?
Is he not within ten miles of either the British flag or Acadia? Does not
the Duchess of Sutherland entertain the authoress of Uncle Tom's Cabin,
and the Black Swan? Why should I sorrow for Cuffee, when he is in the
midst of his best friends? Why should I pretend to say that this appears
to be the raggedest, the meanest, the worst condition of humanity, when
the papers are constantly lauding British philanthropy, and holding it up
as a great example, which we must "bow down and worship?" For my own part,
although the pleasant fiction of seeing Cuffee clothed, educated, and
Christianized, seemed to be somewhat obscured in this glimpse of his real
condition, yet I hope he will do well under his new owners; at the very
least, I trust his berry crop will be good, and that a benevolent British
blanket or two may enable him to shiver out the winter safely, if not
comfortably. Poor William Deer, Sen'r, of Deer's Castle, was suffering
with rheumatism in the next apartment, while we were at his eggs and bacon
in the banquet hall; but Deer of Deer's Castle is a prince to his
neighbors. I shall not easily forget the brightening eye, the swift glance
of intelligence in the face of another old negro, an hostler, in Nova
Scotia. He was from Virginia, and adopting the sweet, mellifluous language
of his own home, I asked him whether he liked best to stay where he was,
or go back to "Old Virginny?" "O massa!" said he, with _such_ a look, "you
_must know_ dat I has de warmest side for my own country!"

We rattled soberly into Dartmouth, and took the ferry-boat across the bay
to the city. At the hotel there was no little questioning about
Chezzetcook, for some of the Halifax merchants are at the Waverley. "GOED
bless ye, what took ye to Chizzencook?" said one, "I never was there een
in my life; ther's no bizz'ness ther, noathing to be seen: ai doant think
there is a maen in Halifax scairsly, 'as ever seen the place."

At the supper-table, while we were discussing, over the cheese and ale,
the Chezzetcook and negro settlements, and exhibiting with no little
vainglory a gorgeous bunch of wild flowers (half of which vanity my
_compagnon de voyage_ is accountable for), there was a young English-Irish
gentleman, well built, well featured, well educated: by name--I shall call
him Picton.

Picton took much interest in Deer's Castle and Chezzetcook, but slily and
satirically. I do not think this the best way for a young man to begin
with; but nevertheless, Picton managed so well to keep his sarcasms within
the bounds of good humor, that before eleven o'clock we had become pretty
well acquainted. At eleven o'clock the gas is turned off at Hotel
Waverley. We went to bed, and renewed the acquaintance at breakfast.
Picton had travelled overland from Montreal to take the "Canada" for
Liverpool, and had arrived too late. Picton had nearly a fortnight before
him in which to anticipate the next steamer. Picton was terribly bored
with Halifax. Picton wanted to go somewhere--where?--"he did not care
where." The consequence was a consultation upon the best disposal of a
fortnight of waste time, a general survey of the maritime craft of
Halifax, the selection of the schooner "Balaklava," bound for Sydney in
ballast, and an understanding with the captain, that the old French town
of Louisburgh was the point we wished to arrive at, into which harbor we
expected to be put safely--three hundred and odd miles from Halifax, and
this side of Sydney about sixty-two miles by sea. To all this did captain
Capstan "seriously incline," and the result was, two berths in the
"Balaklava," several cans of preserved meats and soups, a hamper of ale,
two bottles of Scotch whisky, a ramshackle, Halifax van for the luggage, a
general shaking of hands at departure, and another set of white sails
among the many white sails in the blue harbor of Chebucto.

The "Balaklava" glimmered out of the harbor. Slowly and gently we swept
past the islands and great ships; there on the shore is Point Pleasant in
full uniform, its red soldiers and yellow tents in the thick of the pines
and spruces; yonder is the admiralty, and the "Boscawen" seventy-four,
the receiving-ship, a French war-steamer, and merchantmen of all flags.
Slowly and gently we swept out past the round fort and long barracks, past
the lighthouse and beaches, out upon the tranquil ocean, with its ominous
fog-banks on the skirts of the horizon; out upon the evening sea, with the
summer air fanning our faces, and a large white Acadian moon, faintly
defined overhead.

Picton was a traveller; anybody could see that he was a traveller, and if
he had then been in any part of the habitable globe, in Scotland or
Tartary, Peru or Pennsylvania, there would not have been the least doubt
about the fact that he was a traveller travelling on his travels. He
looked like a traveller, and was dressed like a traveller. He had a
travelling-cap, a travelling-coat, a portable-desk, a life-preserver, a
water-proof blanket, a travelling-shirt, a travelling green leather
satchel strapped across his shoulder, a Minié-rifle, several trunks
adorned with geographical railway labels of all colors and languages,
cork-soled boots, a pocket-compass, and a hand-organ. As for the
hand-organ, that was an accident in his outfit. The hand-organ was a
present for a little boy on the other side of the ocean; but nevertheless,
it played its part very pleasantly in the cabin of the "Balaklava." And
now let me observe here, that when we left Halifax in the schooner, I was
scarcely less feeble than when I left New York. I mention it to show how
speedily "roughing it" on the salt water will bring one's stomach to its
senses.

The "Balaklava" was a fore-and-aft schooner in ballast, and very little
ballast at that; easily handled; painted black outside, and pink inside;
as staunch a craft as ever shook sail; very obedient to the rudder; of
some seventy or eighty tons burden; clean and neat everywhere, except in
the cabin. As for her commander, he was a fine gentleman; true, honest,
brave, modest, prudent and courteous. Sincerely polite, for if politeness
be only kindness mixed with refinement, then Captain Capstan was polite,
as we understand it. The mate of the schooner was a cannie Scot; by name,
Robert, Fitzjames, Buchanan, Wallace, Burns, Bruce; and Bruce was as jolly
a first-mate as ever sailed under the cross-bones of the British flag. The
crew was composed of four Newfoundland sailor men; and the cook, whose
h'eighth letter of the h'alphabet smacked somewhat strongly of H'albion.
As for the rest, there was Mrs. Captain Capstan, Captain and Mrs. Captain
Capstan's baby; Picton and myself. It is cruel to speak of a baby, except
in terms of endearment and affection, and therefore I could not but
condemn Picton, who would sometimes, in his position as a traveller,
allude to baby in language of most emphatic character. The fact is, Picton
_swore_ at that baby! Baby was in feeble health and would sometimes bewail
its fate as if the cabin of the "Balaklava" were four times the size of
baby's misfortunes. So Picton got to be very nervous and uncharitable, and
slept on deck after the first night.

"How do you like this?" said Picton, as we leaned over the side of the
"Balaklava," looking down at the millions of gelatinous quarls in the
clear waters.

"Oh! very much; this lazy life will soon bring me up; how exhilarating the
air is--how fresh and free!

    "'A life on the ocean wave,
    A home on the rolling deep.'"

Just then the schooner gave a lurch and shook her feathers alow and aloft
by way of chorus. "I like this kind of life very much; how gracefully this
vessel moves; what a beautiful union of strength, proportion, lightness,
in the taper masts, the slender ropes and stays, the full spread and sweep
of her sails! Then how expansive the view, the calm ocean in its solitude,
the receding land, the twinkling lighthouse, the"----

"Ever been sea-sick?" said Picton, drily.

"Not often. By the way, my appetite is improving; I think Cookey is
getting tea ready, by the smoke and the smell."

"Likely," replied Picton; "let us take a squint at the galley."

To the galley we went, where we saw Cookey in great distress; for the wind
would blow in at the wrong end of his stove-pipe, so as to reverse the
draft, and his stove was smoking at every seam. Poor Cookey's eyes were
full of tears.

"Why don't you turn the elbow of the pipe the other way?" said Picton.

"Hi av tried that," said Cookey, "but the helbow is so 'eavy the 'ole
thing comes h'off."

"Then, take off the elbow," said Picton.

So Cookey did, and very soon tea was ready. Imagine a cabin, not much
larger than a good-sized omnibus, and far less steady in its motion,
choked up with trunks, and a table about the size of a wash-stand; imagine
two stools and a locker to sit on: a canvas table-cloth in full blotch;
three chipped yellow mugs by way of cups; as many plates, but of great
variety of gap, crack, and pattern; pewter spoons; a blacking-bottle of
milk; an earthen piggin of brown sugar, embroidered with a lively gang of
great, fat, black pismires; hard bread, old as Nineveh; and butter of a
most forbidding aspect. Imagine this array set before an invalid, with an
appetite of the most Miss Nancyish kind!

"One misses the comforts here at sea," said the captain's lady, a pretty
young woman, with a sweet Milesian accent.

"Yes, ma'am," said I, glancing again at the banquet.

"I don't rightly know," she continued, "how I forgot the rocking-chair;"
and she gave baby an affectionate squeeze.

"And that," said the captain, "is as bad as me forgetting the potatoes."

Pic and I sat down, but we could neither eat nor drink; we were very soon
on deck again, sucking away dolefully at two precious cigars. At last he
broke out:

"By gad, to think of it!"

"What is the matter?" said I.

"Not a potato on board the 'Balaklava!'"

So we pulled away dolefully at our segars, in solemn silence.

"Picton," said I, "did you ever hear 'Annie Laurie?'"

"Yes," replied Picton, "about as many times as I want to hear it."

"Don't be impolite, Picton," said I; "it is not my intention to sing it
this evening. Indeed, I never heard it before I heard it in Halifax. I had
the good fortune to make one of a very pleasant company, at the house of
an old friend in the city, and I must say that song touched me, both the
song and the _singing_ of it. You know it was _the_ song in the Crimea?"

"Yes," said Picton, smoking vigorously.

"I asked Major ----," said I, "if 'Annie Laurie' was sung by the soldiers
in the Crimea; and he replied 'they did not sing anything else; they sang
it,' said he, 'by thousands at a time.' How does it go, Picton? Come now!"

So Picton held forth under the moon, and sang "Annie Laurie" on the
"Balaklava." And long after we turned in, the music kept singing on--

    "Her voice is low and sweet,
      And she's all the world to me;
    And for bonnie Annie Laurie
      I'd lay me down and dee."



CHAPTER IV.

The Voyage of the "Balaklava"--Something of a Fog--A Novel
Sensation--Picton bursts out--"Nothing to do"--Breakfast under Way--A
Phantom Boat--Mackerel--Gone, Hook and Line--The Colonists--Sectionalism
and Prejudices--Cod-fishing and an Unexpected Banquet--Past the Old French
Town--A Pretty Respectable Breeze--We get past the Rocks--Louisburgh.


"Picton!"

"Hallo!" replied the traveller, sitting up on his locker; "what is the
matter now?"

"Nothing, only it is morning; let us get up, I want to see the sun rise
out of the ocean."

"Pooh!" replied Picton, "what do you want to be bothering with the sun
for?" And again Picton rolled himself up in his sheet-rubber
travelling-blanket, and stretched his long body out on the locker. I got
up, or rather got down, from my berth, and casting a bucket over the
schooner's side soon made a sea-water toilet. I forgot to mention the
sleeping arrangements of the "Balaklava." There were two lower berths on
one side the cabin, either of which was large enough for two persons; and
two single upper berths on the other side, neither of which was large
enough for one person. At the proper hour for retiring, the captain's lady
shut the cabin-door to keep out intruders, deliberately arrayed herself in
dimity, turned in with baby in one of the large berths, and reöpened the
door. There she lay, wide awake, with her bright eyes twinkling within the
folds of her night cap, unaffected, chatty, and agreeable; then the
captain divested himself of boots and pea-jacket and turned in beside his
lady (the mate slept, when off his watch, in the other double berth).
Picton rolled himself up in his blanket and stretched out on his locker; I
climbed into the narrow coop, over the salt beef and hard biscuit
department; and so we dozed and talked until sleep reigned over all. In
the morning the ceremonies were reversed, with the exception of the
Captain, who was up first. "I never see a man sleep so little as the
captain," said Bruce; "about two hoors, an' that's aw."

The sun was already risen when I came out on the deck of the "Balaklava;"
but where _was_ the sun? Indeed, where was the ocean, or anything? The
schooner was barely making steerage-way, with a light head-wind, over a
small patch of water, not much larger apparently than the schooner
herself. The air was filled with a luminous haze that appeared to be
penetrable by the eye, and yet was not; that seemed at once open and
dense; near yet afar off; close yet diffuse; contracted yet boundless.
There was no light nor shade, no outline, distance, aërial perspective.
There was no east and west, nor blushing Aurora, rising from old Tithonus'
bed; nor blue sky, nor green sea, nor ship, nor shore, nor color, tint,
hue, ray, or reflection. There was nothing visible except the sides of the
vessel, a maze of dripping rigging, two sailors bristling with drops, and
the captain in a shiny sou-wester. The feeling of seclusion and security
was complete, although we might have been run down by another vessel at
any moment; the air was deliciously bland, invigorating, and pregnant with
life; to breathe it was a transport; you felt it in every globule of
blood, in every pore of the lungs. I could have hugged that fog, I was so
happy!

Up and down the rolling deck I marched, and with every inspiration of the
moist air, felt the old, tiresome, lingering sickness floating away. Then
I was startled with a new sensation, I began to get hungry!

It was between four and five o'clock in the morning, and the "Balaklava"
did not breakfast until eight. Reader, were you ever hungry _at sea_?
Were you ever on deck, upon the measureless ocean, four hours earlier than
the ring of the breakfast-bell? Were you ever awake on the briny deep, in
advance, when the cook had yet two hours to sleep; when the stove in the
galley was cold, and the kindling-wood unsplit; the coffee still in its
tender, green, unroasted innocence? Were you ever upon "the blue, the
fresh, the ever free," under these circumstances? If so, I need not say to
_you_ that the sentiment, then and there awakened, is stronger than
avarice, pride, ambition or, love.

Presently Picton burst out like a flower on deck, in a mass of over-coats,
with an India-rubber mackintosh by way of calyx. These were his
night-clothes. Picton could do nothing except in full costume; he could
not fish, in ever so small a stream, without being booted to the hips; nor
shoot, in ever so good a cover, without being jacketed above the hips. He
shaved himself in front of a silver-mounted dressing-case, wrote his
letters on a portable secretary, drew off his boots with a patent
boot-jack, brewed his punch with a peripatetic kettle, and in fact carried
a little London with him in every quarter of the globe. "Well," said
Picton, looking around at the fog with a low and expressive whistle, "this
_is_ serene!"

Although Picton used the word "serene" ironically, just as a man riding in
an omnibus and suddenly discovering that he was destitute of the needful
sixpence might exclaim, "This is pleasant," yet the phrase was not out of
place. The "Balaklava" was gliding lazily over the water, at the rate of
three knots an hour, sometimes giving a little lurch by way of shaking the
wet out of her invisible sails, for the fog obscured all her upper canvas,
and the mind and body easily yielded to the lullaby movement of the
vessel. Talk of lotus-eating; of Castles of Indolence; of the dreamy ether
inhaled from amber-tubed narghilé; of poppy and mandragora, and all the
drowsy syrups of the world; of rain upon the midnight roof; the cooing of
doves, the hush of falling snow, the murmur of brooks, the long summer
song of grasshoppers in the field, the tinkling of fountains, and
everything else that can soothe, lull, or tranquillize; and what are these
to the serenity of this sail-swinging, ripple-stirring, gently-creaking
craft, in her veil of luminous vapor? "How delightful this is!" said I.

The traveller eyed me with surprise, but at last comprehending the idea,
admitted, that with the exception of the fog and the calm, the scarcity of
news, the damp state of the decks, and the want of the morning papers, it
was very charming indeed. Then the traveller got a little restive, and
began to peer closely into the fog, and look aloft to see if he could make
out the stay-sails, and then he entered into a long confidential talk with
the captain, in relation to the chances of "getting on," of a fresh breeze
springing up, and the fog lifting; whether we should make Louisburgh by
to-morrow night, and if not, when; with various other salt-water
speculations and problems. Then Picton climbed up on the patent-windlass
to get a full view of the fog at the end of the bow-sprit, and took
another survey of the buried stay-sails, and the flying-jib. Then he and
the Newfoundland sailor on the look-out, had a long consultation of great
gravity and importance; and finally he turned around and came up to the
place where I was standing, and broke out: "I say, what the devil are we
to do with ourselves this morning?"

"What are we to do?" That eternal question. It instantly seemed to double
the thickness of the fog, to arrest the slow movement of the vessel.
Picton had nothing to do for a fortnight, and I had left home with the
sole object of going somewhere where soul and body could rest. "Nothing to
do," was precisely the one thing needful. "Nothing to do," is exquisite
happiness, for real happiness is but a negation. "Nothing to do," is
repose for the body, respite for the mind. It is an ideal hammock
swinging in drowsy tropical groves, apart from the roar of the busy,
relentless world; away from the strife of faction, the toils of business,
the restless stretch of ambition, wealth's tinsel pride, poverty's galling
harness. "Nothing to do," is the phantom of young Imagination, the
evanescent hope that promises to crown

    "A youth of labor with an age of ease."

"Nothing to do," was the charm that lured us on board the "Balaklava," and
now "nothing to do," was with us like the Bottle-Imp, an incubus, still
crying out: "You may yet exchange me for a smaller coin, if such there
be!" "Nothing to do," is an imposture. Something to do is the very life of
life, the beginning and end of being. "Picton," said I, "one thing we must
do, at least, this morning."

"What is that?" replied the traveller, eagerly opening his mackintosh, and
drawing it off so as to be ready to do it.

"Taking into consideration the slow and sleepy nature of this climate, the
thickness of the fog, the faint, thin air that impels the vessel, the
early time of day, and the regulations of the 'Balaklava,' it seems to me
we shall have to be steadily occupied, for at least three hours, in
waiting for breakfast."

Then Picton got hungry! He was a large, stout man, wrapped up by a
multitude of garments to the thickness of a polar bear, and when he got
hungry, it was on a scale of corresponding dimensions. First he alluded to
the fact that we had gone supperless to bed the night before; then he
buttoned up his mackintosh, had a brief interview with the captain,
shouted down the gang-way for the cook, and finally disappeared in the
forecastle. Then he came up again with that officer, rummaged in the
galley for the ship's hatchet, and split up all the kindling-wood on deck;
then he shed his petals (mackintosh and over-coats) and instructed Cookey
in the mystery of building a fire. Then he emerged from the intolerable
smoke he had raised in the galley, and devoted himself to the stove-pipe
outside, Cookey, meanwhile, within the caboose, getting the benefit of all
the experiments.

At last a faint smell of coffee issued forth from the caboose, a little
Arabia breathed through the humid atmosphere, and a sound, as if Cookey
were stirring the berries in a pan, was heard in the midst of the smoke.
Meanwhile Picton descends in the hold with a bucket of salt-water to enjoy
the luxury of a bath, and reappears in full toilet just as Cookey is
grinding the berries, burnt and green, with a hand-mill between his knees.
The pan by this time is put to a new use; it is now lined with bacon in
full frizzle; presently it will be turned to account as a bake-pan, for
pearl-ash cakes of chrome-yellow complexion: everything must take its
turn; the pan is the actor of all work; it accepts coffee, cakes, pork,
fish, pudding, besides being general dish-washer and soup-warmer, as we
found out before long.

During the preparation of these successive courses, Picton and I sat on
deck in hungry silence. Now and then an anxious glance at the galley, or a
tormenting whiff of the savory viands, would give new life to the demon
that raged within us. I believe if Cookey had accidentally upset the
coffee tea-kettle, and put out the fire, his sanctuary would have been
sacked instantly. Eight o'clock came, and yet we had not broken bread. We
walked up and down the deck to relieve our appetites. At last we saw the
three cracked mugs, our tea-cups, which had been our ale-glasses of the
night before, brought up for a rinse, and then we knew that breakfast was
not far off. The cloth was spread, the saffron cakes, ship's butter,
yellow mugs, coffee, pork, and pismires temptingly arrayed. We did not
wait to hear the cook ring the bell. We watched him as he came up with it
in his hand, and squeezed past him before he shook out a single vibration.

Then we made a MEAL!

Breakfast being over, the fog lightened a little. Our tiny horizon widened
its boundaries a few hundred feet, or so; we could see once more the
top-mast of the schooner. So we lazily swung along, with nothing to do
again. Sometimes a distant fog-bell; sometimes a distant sound across the
face of the deep, like the falling of cataract waters.

"What is that sound, Bruce?"

"It's the surf breakin' on the rocks," responds Bruce; "I hae been
listenen to it for hoors."

"Are we then so near shore?"

"About three miles aff," replies the mate.

Presently we heard the sound of human voices; a laugh; the stroke of oars
in the row-locks, plainly distinguishable in the mysterious vapor. The
captain hailed: "Hallo!" "Halloo!" echoes in answer. The strokes of the
oars are louder and quicker; they are approaching us, but where? "Halloo!"
comes again out of the mist. And again the captain shouts in reply. Then a
white phantom boat, thin, vapory, unsubstantial, now seen, now lost again,
appears on the skirts of our horizon.

"Where are we?" asks the captain.

"Off St. Esprit," answer the boatmen.

"What are you after?" asks the captain.

"Looking for our nets," is the reply; and once more boat and boatmen
disappear in the luminous vapor. These are _mackerel fishermen_; their
nets are adrift from their stone-anchors: the fish are used for bait in
the cod-fisheries, as well as for salting down. If we could but come
across the nets, what a rare treat we might have at dinner!

Lazily on we glide--nothing to do. Picton is reading a stunning book; the
captain, his lady, the baby, and I making a small family circle around the
wheel; the mate is on the look-out over the bows; all at once, he shouts
out: "_There they are! the nets!_" Down goes Picton's book on the deck;
Bruce catches up a rope and fastens it to a large iron hook; the sailors
run to the side of the vessel; captain releases his forefinger from baby's
hand, and catches the wheel; all is excitement in a moment. "_Starboard!_"
shouts the mate, as the nets come sweeping on, directly in front of the
cut-water. The schooner obeys the wheel, sheers off, and now, as the
floats come along sidewise, Bruce has dropped his hook in the mesh--_it
takes hold!_ and the heavy mass is partially raised up in the water.
"Thousands of them," says Picton; sure enough, the whole net is alive with
mackerel, splashing, quivering, glistening. "Catch hold here, I canna
hold them; O the beauties!" says the mate. Some grasp at the rope, others
look around for another hook. "Hauld 'em! hauld 'em!" shouts Bruce; but
the weighty piscatorial mass is too much for us, it will drag us
desperately along the deck to the stern of the vessel. The schooner is
going slowly, but still she is going. Another hook is rigged and thrown at
the struggling mesh; but it breaks loose, the mackerel are dragging behind
the rudder; we are at our rope's end. At last, rope, hook, and nets are
abandoned, and again we have nothing to do.

High noon, and a red spot visible overhead; the captain brings out his
sextant to take an observation. This proceeding we viewed with no little
interest, and, for the humor of the thing, I borrowed the sextant of the
captain and took a satirical view of a great luminary in obscurity. As I
had the instrument upside down, the sailors were in convulsions of
laughter; but why should we not make everybody happy when we have it in
our power?

High noon, and again hunger overtook us. Picton, by this time, had brought
out the cans of preserved meats, the curried tin chicken, the portable
soup, the ale and pickles. The cook was put upon duty; pot and pan were
scoured for more delicate viands; Picton was _chef de cuisine_; we had a
magnificent banquet that day on the "Balaklava."

To give a zest to the entertainment, the captain's lady dined with us; the
mate kindly undertaking the charge of the baby.

When we came on deck, after a repast that would have been perfect but for
the absence of potatoes, Bruce was marching up and down, dangling the baby
in a way that made it appear all legs; "I doan't see," said he, "hoo a
wummun can lug a baby all day aboot in her airms! I hae only carried this
one half an 'our, and boath airms is sore. But I suppose it's naturely,
it's naturely--everything to its nature."

The dinner having been a success, Picton was in great spirits for the rest
of the day. The fog spread its munificent halo around us, and before
nightfall broke into myriads of white rainbows--sea-dogs the sailors call
them--and finally lifted so high that we could see the spectral moon
shining through the thin rack. Once more we sang "Annie Laurie;" the
traveller brought out his travelling blanket for a dewy slumber on deck;
the lady of the "Balaklava" put on her night-cap and retired with baby to
the double berth: Bruce took the helm. As I was passing the light in the
binnacle, I looked in at the compass for a moment. "She's nailed there,"
said the old mate. Nailed there, true to her course, as steadfast to the
guiding rudder as truth is to religion. We were but a few miles from a
dangerous coast, in a vessel of the frailest kind, but she was "nailed
there," obedient to man's intelligence, and that was security and safety.
What a text to say one's prayers upon!

"Picton," said I, the next morning, after the schooner-breakfast, "it
seems to me the strangest thing that Mrs. Capstan should have the pure
Irish pronunciation and the mate the thorough Scotch brogue, although both
were born in Newfoundland, and of Newfoundland parents. I must confess to
no small amount of surprise at the complete isolation of the people of
these colonies; the divisions among them; the separate pursuits,
prejudices, languages; they seem to have nothing in common; no aggregation
of interests; it is existence without nationality; sectionalism without
emulation; a mere exotic life with not a fibre rooted firmly in the soil.
The colonists are English, Irish, Scotch, French, for generation after
generation. Why is this, O Picton? Why is it that the captain's lady has
high cheek-bones, and speaks the pure Hibernise? why is the only railroad
in the colony but nine and three-quarter miles long, and the great
Shubenacadie Canal yet unfinished, although it was begun in the year
1826; a canal fifty-three mortal miles in length, already engineered and
laid out by nature in a chain of lakes, most conveniently arranged with
the foot of each little lake at the head of the next one--like 'orient
pearls at random strung'--requiring but a few locks to be complete: the
head of the first lake lying only twelve hundred and ten yards from
Halifax harbor, and the Shubenacadie River itself at the other end,
emptying in the place of destination, namely, the Basin of Minas; a work
that, if completed, would cut off more than three hundred miles of outside
voyaging around a stormy, foggy, dangerous coast; a work that was
estimated to cost but seventy-five thousand pounds, and for which fifteen
thousand pounds had already been subscribed by the government; a work that
would be the saving of so many vessels, crews, and cargoes of so much
value; a work that would traverse one of the most fertile countries in
America; a work that would bring the inland produce within a few hours of
the seaboard; a work so necessary, so obvious, so easily completed, that
no Yankee could see it undone, if it were within the limits of his county,
and have one single night's rest until the waters were leaping from lock
to lock, from lake to lake in one continuous flood of prosperity from
Minas to Chebucto? Why is this, O traveller of the 'Balaklava?'"

"The reason of it all," replied Picton, with great equanimity of manner,
"is entirely owing to the stupidity of the people here; the British
government is the best government, sir, in the world; it fosters,
protects, and supports the colonies, with a sort of parental care, sir;
the colonies, sir, afford no recompense to the British government for its
care and protection, sir; each colony is only a bill of expense, sir, to
the mother country, and if, with all these advantages, the people of these
colonies will persist, sir, in being behind the age, sir, what can we do
to prevent it, I would like to know, sir?"

"It does seem to me, Picton, this fostering, protecting, and paying the
governmental expenses of the colonies, is very like pampering and amusing
a child with sweetmeats and nick-nacks, and at the same time keeping it in
leading-strings. It is very certain that these colonists would not be the
same people if their ancestors had been transplanted, a century or so ago,
to our side of the Bay of Fundy; no, not even if they had pitched their
tents at the 'jumping-off place,' as it is called--Eastport, for even
there they would have produced a crop of pure Yankees, although grown from
divers nations, religions, and tongues."

Here Picton turned up his lip, and smiled out of a little battery of
sarcasm: "And you think," said he, after a pause, "that these colonists
would no longer revel in those little prejudices and sectionalisms so dear
to every American heart, if they were transplanted to your own favored
coasts? Why, sir, there is more sectionalism in the country you would
transport these people to, than in any one nation I ever heard of; every
one of your States is a petty principality; it has its own separate
interests; its own bigoted boundaries; its conventionalisms; its pet laws;
and as for its prejudices, I will just ask you, as a candid man, not as a
Yankee, but as a traveller like myself, a cosmopolite, if you please, what
you think of the two great eternal States of Massachusetts and South
Carolina, and whether prejudices and sectionalisms are to be fairly
charged upon these colonies, and upon them only?"

"Picton, I will be frank with you. The States you name are looked upon as
the great game-cocks of the Union, and we give them a tolerably large
arena to fight their battles in. Either champion has flapped its wings and
crowed its loudest, and drawn in its local backers, but the great States
of my country are not these two. I feel at this moment an almost
irrepressible desire to instance a single one as an example; but insomuch
as nobody has ever flapped wing or crowed because of it, I will not be the
first to break the silence. This much I will say, there are some States,
and those the very greatest in the Union, that neither claim to be, nor
make a merit of being _provincial_."

"But, even in your State, you have your stately prejudices," said Picton,
with a marked emphasis upon the "stately."

"No, sir, we have no stately prejudices, at least among those entitled to
have them, the native-born citizens; nor do I believe such prejudices
exist in many of the States with us at home, sir."

"But as you admit there is a sectional barrier between your people," said
Picton, "I do not see why our form of government is not as wise as your
form of government."

"The difference, Picton, is simply this: your government is foreign, and
almost unchangeable; ours is local, and mutable as the flux and reflux of
the tide. As a consequence, sectionalism is active with us, and apathetic
with you. Your colonists have nothing to care for, and we have everything
to care for."

"Then," said Picton, "we can sleep while you struggle?"

"Yes, Picton, that is the question----

    'Whether 'tis best to roam or rest.
    The land's lap, or the water's breast?'

We think it is best to choose the active instead of the stagnant; if a man
cannot take part in the great mechanism of humanity, better to die than to
sleep. And Picton, so far as this is concerned, so far as the general
interests of humanity are concerned, your colonists are only _dead men_,
while our "stately" men are individually responsible, not only to their
own kind, but to all human kind, and herein each form of government tells
its own story."

"I think you are rather severe upon poor Nova Scotia this morning," said
Picton, drily.

"You mistake me, Picton; I do not intend to cast any reflections upon the
people; I am only contrasting the effects produced by two different forms
of government upon neighboring bodies of men that would have been alike
had either a republican or monarchical rule obtained over both."

"Likely," said Picton, sententiously.

Meantime the schooner was lazily holding her course through the fog, which
was now dense as ever. What an odd little bit of ocean this is to be on!
"The sea, the sea, the open sea," all your own, with a diameter of perhaps
forty yards. Picton, who is full of activity, begins to unroll the log
line; the captain turns the glass, away goes the log. "Stop," "not three
knots!" and then comes the question again: "What shall we do?--we are
getting becalmed!"

"By Jove!" said Picton, slapping his thigh, "I have it--_cod-fish_!"

There are plenty of hooks on board the "Balaklava," and unfortunately only
one cod-line; but what with the deep-sea lead-and-line, and a roll of blue
cord, with a spike for a sinker, and the hooks, we are soon in the midst
of excitement. Now we almost pray for a calm; the schooner _will_ heave
ahead, and leave the lines astern; but nevertheless, up come the fine
fish, and plenty of them, too; the deck is all flop and glister with cod,
haddock, pollock; and Cookey, with a short knife, is at work with the
largest, preparing them for the banquet, according to the code
Newfoundland. Certainly the art of "cooking a cod-fish" is not quite
understood, except in this part of the world. The white flakes do not
exhibit the true conchoidal fracture in such perfection elsewhere; nor
break off in such delicious morsels, edged with delicate brown. "Another
bottle of ale, please, and a granitic biscuit, and a pickle, by way of
dessert."

Lazily along swings the "Balaklava." Picton brings up his travelling
blanket, and we stretch out upon it on deck, basking in the warm, humid
light, and leisurely puffing away at our segars, for we have nothing else
to do. Towards evening it grows colder, very much colder; over-coats are
in requisition; the captain says we are nearing some icebergs; the fog
folds itself up and hangs above us in strips of cloud, or rolls away in
voluminous masses to the edges of the horizon. The stars peep out between
the strips overhead, the moon sends forth her silver vapors and finally
emerges from the "crudded clouds;" the wake of the schooner is one long
phosphoric trail of flame; the masts are creaking, sails stretching, the
waters pouring against the bows; out on the deep, white crests lift and
break, the winds are loosened, and now good speed to the "Balaklava."
Meanwhile, the hitherto listless Newfoundland men are now wide awake, and
busy; the man at the wheel is on the alert; the captain is looking at his
charts; Picton and I walking the deck briskly, but unsteadily, to keep off
the cold; Mrs. Capstan has turned in with the baby. Blacker and larger
waves are rising, with whiter crests; on and on goes the schooner with dip
and rise--tossing her yards as a stag tosses his antlers. On and on goes
the brave "Balaklava," the captain at the bows on the look-out; the sky is
mottled with clouds, but fortunately there is no fog; nine, ten o'clock,
and at last a light begins to lift in the distance. "Is it Louisburgh
light, captain?" "I don't make it out yet," replies Captain Capstan, "but
I think it is not." After a pause, he adds: "Now I see what it is; it is
Scattarie light--we have passed Louisburgh."

This was not pleasant; we had undertaken the voyage for the sake of
visiting the old French town. To be sure, it was a great disappointment.
But then we were rapidly nearing Scattarie light; and after we doubled the
island, the wind would be right astern of us, and by breakfast time we
would be in the harbor of Sydney.

"Captain," said we, after a brief consultation, "we will leave the matter
entirely to you; although we had hoped to see Louisburgh this night, yet
we can visit it overland to-morrow; and as the wind is so favorable for
you, why, crack on to Sydney, if you like."

With that we resumed our walk to keep up the circulation.

"It is strange," said Picton, "the captain should have passed the light
without seeing it."

"Ever since we left Richmond," said the man at the wheel, "his eyes has
been weak, so as he couldn't see as good as common."

"Did you see the light?" we asked.

"Oh, yes; I can see it now, right astern of us."

We looked, and at last made it out: a faint, nebulous star, upon the very
edge of the gloomy waters.

"There is the light, captain."

"Where?"

"Right astern."

The captain walked aft to the steersman and peered anxiously in the
distance. Then he came forward again, and shouted down the forecastle:
"Hallo, hallo, turn out there! all hands on deck! turn out, men! turn
out!"

"What now, captain?"

"Nothing," said he, "only I am going to _about-ship_."

And sure enough, the little schooner came up to the wind; the men hauled
away at the sheets, the sails fluttered--filled upon the new tack, and in
a few minutes our bows were pointed for Louisburgh.

The "Balaklava" had barely broadened out her sails to the fair wind, after
she had been put about, when we were conscious of an increased straining
and chirping of the masts and sails, an uneasy, laborious motion of the
vessel; of blacker and larger waves, of whiter and higher crests, that
sometimes broke over the bows, even, and made the deck wet and slippery.
The moon was now rising high, but the clouds were rapidly thickening, and
her majesty seemed to be reeling from side to side, as we bore on, with
plunge and shudder, for the light ahead of us. Bruce had taken the wheel;
all hands were on deck, and all busy, hauling upon this rope or that,
taking in the stay-sails and flying-jib, as the captain shouted out from
time to time; and looking ahead, with no little appearance of anxiety.

"Ah! she's a pretty creature," said the mate; "look there," nodding with
his head at the compass, "did'na I tell you? She's nailed there." Then he
broke out again: "Ay, she's a flyin' noo; see hoo she's _raisin' the
light_!"

It was, indeed, surprising to see the great beacon rising higher and
higher out of the water.

"Is it a good harbor, Bruce?"

"_When ye get in_," answered the mate; "but it's narrar, it's narrar; ye
can pitch a biscuit ashore as ye go through; and inside o't is the 'Nag's
Head,' a sunken bit o' rock, with about five feet water; if ye _miss_
that, ye're aw right!" We were now rapidly approaching the beacon, and
could fairly see the rocks and beach in the track of its light. On the
other side there were great masses of savage surf, whirling high up in the
night, the indications of the three islands on the west of the harbor. The
captain had climbed up in the rigging to keep a good look-out ahead; the
light of the beacon broadened on the deck; we were within the very jaws
of the crags and surf; the wild ocean beating against the doors of the
harbor; the churning, whirling, whistling danger on either side, lighted
up by the glare of the beacon! past we go, and, with a sweep, the
"Balaklava" evades the "Nag's Head," and rounding too, drops sail and
anchor beside the walls of Louisburgh.

Then the thick fog, which had been pursuing us, came, and enveloped all in
obscurity.

"It is lucky," said Captain Capstan, "that it didn't come ten minutes
sooner."



CHAPTER V.

Louisburgh--The Great French Fortress--Incidents of the Old French
War--Relics of the Siege--Description of the Town--The two Expeditions--A
Yankee _ruse de guerre_--The Rev. Samuel Moody's Grace--Wolfe's
Landing--The Fisherman's Hutch--The Lost Coaster--The Fisheries--Picton
tries his hand at a fish-pugh.


Nearly a century has elapsed since the fall of Louisburgh. The great
American fortress of Louis XV. surrendered to Amherst, Wolfe, and Boscawen
in 1758. A broken sea-wall of cut stone; a vast amphitheatre, inclosed
within a succession of green mounds; a glacis; and some miles of
surrounding ditch, yet remain--the relics of a structure for which the
treasury of France paid Thirty Millions of Livres!

We enter where had been the great gate, and walk up what had been the
great avenue. The vision follows undulating billows of green turf that
indicate the buried walls of a once powerful military town. Fifteen
thousand people were gathered in and about these walls; six thousand
troops were locked within this fortress, when the key turned in the
stupendous gate.

A hundred years since, the very air of the spot where we now stand,
vibrated with the chime of the church-bells and the roll of the stately
organ, or wafted to devout multitudes the savor of holy incense. Here were
congregated the soldiers, merchants, artisans of old France; on these high
walls paced the solemn sentry; in these streets the nun stole past in her
modest hood; or the romantic damsel pressed her cheek to the latticed
window, as the young officer rode by and, martial music filled the avenues
with its inspiring strains; in yonder bay floated the great war-ships of
Louis; and around the shores of this harbor could be counted battery after
battery, with scores of guns bristling from the embrasures.

The building of this stronghold was a labor of twenty-five years. The
stone walls rose to the height of thirty-six feet. In those broken arches,
studded with stalactites, those casemates, or vaults of the citadel, you
still see some evidence of its former strength. You will know the citadel
by them, and by the greater height of the mounds which mark the walls that
once encompassed it. Within these stood the smaller military chapel. Think
of looking down from this point upon those broad avenues, busy with life,
a hundred years ago!

Neither roof nor spire remain now; nor square nor street; nor convent,
church, or barrack. The green turf covers all: even the foundations of the
houses are buried. It is a city without an inhabitant. Dismantled cannon,
with the rust clinging in great flakes; scattered implements of war;
broken weapons, bayonets, gun-locks, shot, shell or grenade, unclaimed,
untouched, corroded and corroding, in silence and desolation, with no
signs of life visible within these once warlike parapets except the
peaceful sheep, grazing upon the very brow of the citadel, are the only
relics of once powerful Louisburgh.

Let us recall the outlines of its history. In the early part of the last
century, just after the death of Louis XIV., these foundations were laid,
and the town named in honor of the ruling monarch. Nova Scotia proper had
been ceded, by recent treaty, to the filibusters of Old and New-England,
but the ancient Island of Cape Breton still owned allegiance to the lilies
of France. Among the beautiful and commodious harbors that indent the
southern coast of the island, this one was selected as being most easy of
access. Although naturally well adapted for defence, yet its fortification
cost the government immense sums of money, insomuch as all the materials
for building had to be brought from a distance. Belknap thus describes it:
"It was environed, two miles and a half in circumference, with a rampart
of stone from thirty to thirty-six feet high, and a ditch eighty feet
wide, with the exception of a space of two hundred yards near the sea,
which was inclosed by a dyke and a line of pickets. The water in this
place was shallow, and numerous reefs rendered it inaccessible to
shipping, while it received an additional protection from the side-fire of
the bastions. There were six-bastions and eight batteries, containing
embrasures for one hundred and forty-eight cannon, of which forty-five
only were mounted, and eight mortars. On an island at the entrance of the
harbor was planted a battery of thirty cannon, carrying twenty-eight pound
shot; and at the bottom of the harbor was a grand, or royal battery, of
twenty-eight cannon, forty-two pounders, and two eighteen-pounders. On a
high cliff, opposite to the island-battery, stood a light house, and
within this point, at the north-east part of the harbor, was a careening
wharf, secure from all winds, and a magazine of naval stores. The town was
regularly laid out in squares; the streets were broad and commodious, and
the houses, which were built partly of wood upon stone foundations, and
partly of more durable materials, corresponded with the general appearance
of the place. In the centre of one of the chief bastions was a stone
building, with a moat on the side near the town, which was called the
citadel, though it had neither artillery nor a structure suitable to
receive any. Within this building were the apartments of the governor, the
barracks for the soldiers, and the arsenal; and, under the platform of the
redoubt, a magazine well furnished with military stores. The parish
church, also, stood within the citadel, and without was another, belonging
to the hospital of St. Jean de Dieu, which was an elegant and spacious
structure. The entrance to the town was over a drawbridge, near which was
a circular battery, mounting sixteen guns of fourteen-pound shot."

This cannon-studded harbor was the naval dépôt of France in America, the
nucleus of its military power, the protector of its fisheries, the key of
the gulf of St. Lawrence, the Sebastopol of the New World. For a quarter
of a century it had been gathering strength by slow degrees: Acadia, poor
inoffensive Acadia, from time to time, had been the prey of its rapacious
neighbors; but Louisburgh had grown amid its protecting batteries, until
Massachusetts felt that it was time for the armies of Gad to go forth and
purge the threshing-floor with such ecclesiastical iron fans as they were
wont to waft peace and good will with, wherever there was a fine opening
for profit and edification.

The first expedition against Louisburgh was only justifiable upon the
ground that the wants of New England for additional territory were
pressing, and immediate action, under the circumstances, indispensable.
Levies of colonial troops were made, both in and out of the territories of
the saints. The forces, however, actually employed, came from
Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire; the first supplying three
thousand two hundred, the second five hundred, the third three hundred
men. The coöperation of Commodore Warren, of the English West-Indian
fleet, was solicited; but the Commodore declined, on the ground "that the
expedition was wholly a provincial affair, undertaken without the assent,
and probably without the knowledge, of the ministry." But Governor Shirley
was not a man to stop at trifles. He had a heart of lignum vitæ, a rigid
anti-papistical conscience, beetle brows, and an eye to the cod-fisheries.
Higher authority than international law was pressed into the service.
George Whitefield, then an itinerant preacher in New-England, furnished
the necessary warrant for the expedition, by giving a motto for its
banner: "_Nil desperandum Christo duce_"--Nothing is to be despaired of
with CHRIST for leader. The command was, however, given to William
Pepperel, a fish and shingle merchant of Maine. One of the chaplains of
the filibusters carried a hatchet specially sharpened, to hew down the
wooden images in the churches of Louisburgh. Everything that was needed to
encourage and cheer the saints, was provided by Governor Shirley,
especially a goodly store of New England rum, and the Rev. Samuel Moody,
the lengthiest preacher in the colonies. Louisburgh, at that time feebly
garrisoned, held out bravely in spite of the formidable array concentrated
against it. In vain the Rev. Samuel Moody preached to its high stone
walls; in vain the iconoclast chaplain brandished his ecclesiastical
hatchet; in vain Whitefield's banner flaunted to the wind. The fortress
held out against shot and shell, saint, flag and sermon. New England
ingenuity finally circumvented Louisburgh. Humiliating as the confession
is, it must be admitted that our pious forefathers did actually abandon
"CHRISTO duce," and used instead a little worldly artifice.

Commodore Warren, who had declined taking a part in the siege of
Louisburgh, on account of the regulations of the service, had received,
after the departure of the expedition, instructions to keep a look-out for
the interests of his majesty in North America, which of course could be
readily interpreted, by an experienced officer in his majesty's service,
to mean precisely what was meant to be meant. As a consequence, Commodore
Warren was speedily on the look-out, off the coast of Cape Breton, and in
the course of events fell in with, and captured, the "Vigilant,"
seventy-four, commanded by Captain Stronghouse, or, as his title runs,
"the Marquis de la Maison Forte." The "Vigilant" was a store-ship, filled
with munitions of war for the French town. Here was a glorious
opportunity. If the saints could only intimate to Duchambon, the Governor
of Louisburgh, that his supplies had been cut off, Duchambon might think
of capitulation. But unfortunately the French were prejudiced against the
saints, and would not believe them under oath. But when probity fails, a
little ingenuity and artifice will do quite as well. The chief of the
expedition was equal to the emergency. He took the Marquis of Stronghouse
to the different ships on the station, where the French prisoners were
confined, and showed him that they were treated with great civility; then
he represented to the Marquis that the New England prisoners were cruelly
dealt with in the fortress of Louisburgh; and requested him to write a
letter, in the name of humanity, to Duchambon, Governor, in behalf of
those suffering saints; "expressing his approbation of the conduct of the
English, and entreating similar usuage for those whom the fortune of war
had thrown in his hands." The Marquis wrote the letter; thus it begins:
"On board the 'Vigilant,' _where I am a prisoner_, before Louisburgh, June
thirteen, 1745." The rest of the letter is unimportant. The confession of
Captain Stronghouse, that he was a prisoner, was the point; and the
consequences thereof, which had been foreseen by the filibustering
besiegers, speedily followed. In three days Louisburgh capitulated.

Then the Rev. Samuel Moody greatly distinguished himself. He was a painful
preacher; the most untiring, persevering, long-winded, clamorous,
pertinacious vessel at craving a blessing, in the provinces. There was a
great feast in honor of the occasion. But more formidable than the siege
itself, was the anticipated "grace" of Brother Moody. New England held its
breath when he began, and thus the Reverend Samuel: "Good Lord, we have so
many things to thank Thee for, that time will be infinitely too short to
do it; we must therefore leave it for the work of eternity."

Upon this there was great rejoicing, yea, more than there had been upon
the capture of the French stronghold. Who shall say whether Brother
Moody's brevity may not stretch farther across the intervals of time than
the longest preaching ever preached by mortal preacher?

In three years after its capture, Louisburgh was restored to the French by
the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. Ten years after its restoration, a heavier
armament, a greater fleet, a more numerous army, besieged its almost
impregnable walls. Under Amherst, Boscawen, and Wolfe, no less than
twenty-three ships of war, eighteen frigates, sixteen thousand land
forces, with a proportionable train of cannon and mortars, were arrayed
against this great fortress in the year 1758. Here, too, many of our own
ancestral warriors were gathered in that memorable conflict; here Gridley,
who afterwards planned the redoubt at Bunker Hill, won his first laurels
as an engineer; here Pomeroy distinguished himself, and others whose names
are not recorded, but whose deeds survive in the history of a republic.
The very drum that beat to arms before Louisburgh was braced again when
the greater drama of the Revolution opened at Concord and Lexington.

The siege continued for nearly two months. From June 8th until July 26th,
the storm of iron and fire--of rocket, shot, and shell--swept from yonder
batteries, upon the castellated city. Then when the King's, the Queen's,
the Dauphin's bastions were lying in ruins, the commander, Le Chevalier
de Drucour, capitulated, and the lilies of the Bourbon waved over
Louisburgh no more.

And here we stand nearly a century after, looking out from these war-works
upon the desolate harbor. At the entrance, the wrecks of three French
frigates, sunk to prevent the ingress of the British fleet, yet remain;
sometimes visited by our still enterprising countrymen, who come down in
coasters with diving-bell and windlass, to raise again from the deep,
imbedded in sea-shells, the great guns that have slept in the ooze so
long. Between those two points lay the ships of the line, and frigates of
Louis; opposite, where the parapets of stone are yet visible, was the
grand battery of forty guns: at Lighthouse Point yonder, two thousand
grenadiers, under General Wolfe, drove back the French artillerymen, and
tamed their cannon upon these mighty walls. Here the great seventy-four
blew up; there the English boats were sunk by the guns of the fortress;
day and night for many weeks this ground has shuddered with the thunders
of the cannonade.

And what of all this? we may ask. What of the ships that were sunk, and
those that floated away with the booty? What of the soldiers that fell by
hundreds here, and those that lived? What of the prisoners that mourned,
and the captors that triumphed? What of the flash of artillery, and the
shattered wall that answered it? Has any benefit resulted to mankind from
this brilliant achievement? Can any man, of any nation, stand here and
say: "This work was wrought to my profit?" Can any man draw such a breath
here amid these buried walls, as he can upon the humblest sod that ever
was wet with the blood of patriotism? I trow not.

A second time in possession of this stronghold, England had not the means
to maintain her conquest; the fortification was too large for any but a
powerful garrison. A hundred war-ships had congregated in that harbor:
frigates, seventy-fours, transports, sloops, under the _Fleur-de-lis_.
Although Louisburgh was the pivot-point of the French possessions, yet it
was but an outside harbor for the colonies. So the order went forth to
destroy the town that had been reared with so much cost, and captured with
so much sacrifice. And it took two solid years of gunpowder to blow up
these immense walls, upon which we now sadly stand, O gentle reader! Turf,
turf, turf covers all! The gloomiest spectacle the sight of man can dwell
upon is the desolate, but once populous, abode of humanity. Egypt itself
is cheerful compared with Louisburgh!

"It rains," said Picton.

It had rained all the morning; but what did that matter when a hundred
years since was in one's mind? Picton, in his mackintosh, was an
impervious representative of the nineteenth century; but I was as fully
saturated with water as if I were living in the place under the old French
_régime_.

"Let us go down," said Picton, "and see the jolly old fishermen outside
the walls. What is the use of staying here in the rain after you have seen
all that can be seen? Come along. Just think how serene it will be if we
can get some milk and potatoes down there."

There are about a dozen fishermen's huts on the beach outside the walls of
the old town of Louisburgh. When you enter one it reminds you of the
descriptive play-bill of the melo-drama--"Scene II.: Interior of a
Fisherman's Cottage on the Sea-shore: Ocean in the Distance." The walls
are built of heavy timbers, laid one upon another, and caulked with moss
or oakum. Overhead are square beams, with pegs for nets, poles, guns,
boots, the heterogeneous and picturesque tackle with which such ceilings
are usually ornamented. But oh! how clean everything is! The knots are
fairly scrubbed out of the floor-planks, the hearth-bricks red as
cherries, the dresser-shelves worn thin with soap and sand, and white as
the sand with which they have been scoured. I never saw drawing-room that
could compare with the purity of that interior. It was cleanliness itself;
but I saw many such before I left Louisburgh, in both the old town and the
new.

We sat down in the "hutch," as they call it, before a cheery wood-fire,
and soon forgot all about the outside rain. But if we had shut out the
rain, we had not shut out the neighboring Atlantic. That was near enough;
the thunderous surf, whirling, pouring, breaking against the rocky shore
and islands, was sounding in our ears, and we could see the great white
masses of foam lifted against the sky from the window of the hutch, as we
sat before the warm fire.

"You was lucky to get in last night," said the master of the hutch, an
old, weather-beaten fisherman.

"Yes," replied Picton, surveying the grey head before him with as much
complacency as he would a turnip; "and a serene old place it is when we
get in."

To this the weather-beaten replied by winking twice with both eyes.

"Rather a dangerous coast," continued Picton, stretching out one thigh
before the fire. "I say, don't you fishermen often lose your lives out
there?" and he pointed to the mouth of the harbor.

"There was only two lives lost _in seventy years_," replied the old man
(this remarkable fact was confirmed by many persons of whom we asked the
same question during our visit), "and one of them was a young man, a
stranger here, who was capsized in a boat as he was going out to a vessel
in the harbor."

"You are speaking now of lives lost in the fisheries," said Picton, "not
in the coasting trade."

"Oh!" replied the old man, shaking his head, "the coasting trade is
different; there is a many lives lost in that. Last year I had a brother
as sailed out of this in a shallop, on the same day as yon vessel,"
pointing to the Balaklava; "he went out in company with your captain; he
was going to his wedding, he thought, poor fellow, for he was to bring a
young wife home with him from Halifax, but he got caught in a storm off
Canseau, and we never heard of the shallop again. He was my youngest
brother, gentlemen."

It was strange to be seated in that old cottage, listening to so dreary a
story, and watching the storm outside. There was a wonderful fascination
in it, nevertheless, and I was not a little loth to leave the bright
hearth when the sailors from the schooner came for us and carried us on
board again to dinner.

The storm continued; but Picton and I found plenty to do that day.
Equipped with oil-skin pea-jackets and sou'-westers, with a couple of
_fish-pughs_, or poles, pointed with iron, we started on a cruise after
lobsters, in a sort of flat-bottomed skiff, peculiar to the place, called
a _dingledekooch_. And although we did not catch one lobster, yet we did
not lose sight of many interesting particulars that were scattered around
the harbor. And first of the fisheries. All the people here are directly
or indirectly engaged in this business, and to this they devote themselves
entirely; farming being scarcely thought of. I doubt whether there is a
plough in the place; certainly there was not a horse, in either the old or
new town, or a vehicle of any kind, as we found out betimes.

The fishing here, as in all other places along the coast, is carried on in
small, clinker-built boats, sharp at both ends, and carrying two sails. It
is marvellous with what dexterity these boats are handled; they are out in
all weathers, and at all times, night or day, as it happens, and although
sometimes loaded to the gunwale with fish, yet they encounter the roughest
gales, and ride out storms in safety, that would be perilous to the
largest vessels.

"I can carry all sail," said one old fellow, "when the captain there would
have to take in every rag on the schooner."

And such, too, was the fact. These boats usually sail a few miles from the
shore, rarely beyond twelve; the fish are taken with hand-lines generally,
but sometimes a set line with buoys and anchors is used. The fish, are
cured on _flakes_, or high platforms, raised upon poles from the beach, so
that one end of the staging is over the water. The cod are thrown up from
the boat to the flake by means of the fish-pugh--a sort of one-pronged,
piscatory pitchfork--and cleaned, salted, and cured there; then spread out
to dry on the flake, or on the beach, and packed for market. _Nothing can
be neater and cleaner than the whole system of curing the fish!_ popular
opinion to the contrary notwithstanding. The fishermen of Louisburgh are a
happy, contented, kind, and simple people. Living, as they do, far from
the jarring interests of the busy world, having a common revenue, for the
ocean supplies each and all alike; pursuing an occupation which is
constant discipline for body and soul; brave, sincere, and hospitable by
nature, for all of these virtues are inseparable from their relations to
each other; one can scarcely be with them, no matter how brief the visit,
without feeling a kindred sympathy; without having a vague thought of
"sometime I may be only too glad to escape from the world and accept this
humble happiness instead;" without a dreamy idea of "Perhaps _this_, after
all, is the real Arcadia!"

While I was indulging in these reflections, it was amusing to see Picton
at work! The heads and entrails of the cod-fish, thrown from the "flakes"
into the water, attract thousands of the baser tribes, such as sculpins,
flounders, and toad-fish, who feed themselves fat upon the offals, and
enjoy a peaceful life under the clear waters of the harbor. As the
dingledekooch floated silently over them, they lay perfectly quiet and
unsuspicious of danger, although within a few feet of the fatal fish-pugh,
and in an element almost as transparent as air. Lobster, during the storm,
had gone off to other grounds; but here were great flat flounders and
sculpin, within reach of the indefatigable Picton. Down went the fish-pugh
and up came the game! The bottom of the skiff was soon covered with the
spearings of the traveller. Great flounders, those sub-marine buckwheat
cakes; sculpins, bloated with rage and wind, like patriots out of office;
toad-fish, savage and vindictive as Irishmen in a riot. Down went the
fish-pugh! It was rare sport, and no person could have enjoyed it more
than Picton--except perhaps some of the veteran fishermen of Louisburgh,
who were gathered on the beach watching the doings in the dingledekooch.



CHAPTER VI.

A most acceptable Invitation--- An Evening in the Hutch--Old Songs--Picton
in High Feather--Wolfe and Montcalm--Reminiscences of the Siege--Anecdotes
of Wolfe--A Touch of Rhetoric and its Consequences.


Quite a little crowd of fishermen gathered around us, as the dingledekooch
ran bows on the beach, and Picton, warm with exercise and excitement,
leaped ashore, flourishing his piscatorial javelin with an air of triumph,
which oddly contrasted with the faces of the Louisburghers, who looked at
him and at his game, with countenances of great gravity--either real or
assumed. Presently, another boat ran bows on the beach beside our own, and
from this jumped Bruce, our jolly first mate, who had come ashore to spend
a few hours with an old friend, at one of the hutches. To this we were
hospitably invited also, and were right glad to uncase our limbs of stiff
oil-skin and doff our sou'-westers, and sit down before the cheery fire,
piled up with spruce logs and hackmatack; comfortable, indeed, was it to
be thus snugly housed, while the weather outside was so lowering, and the
schooner wet and cold with rain. To be sure, our gay and festive hall was
not so brilliant as some, but it was none the less acceptable on that
account; and, before long, a fragrant rasher of bacon, fresh eggs, white
bread, and a strong cup of bitter tea made us feel entirely happy. Then
these viands being removed, there came pipes and tobacco; and as something
else was needed to crown the symposium, Picton whispered a word in the ear
of Bruce, who presently disappeared, to return again after a brief
absence, with some of our stores from the schooner. Then the table was
decked again, with china mugs of dazzling whiteness, lemons, hot water,
and a bottle of old Glenlivet; and from the centre of this gallant show,
the one great lamp of the hutch cast its mellow radiance around, and
nursed in the midst of its flame a great ball of red coal that burned like
a bonfire. Then, when our host, the old fisherman, brought out a bundle of
warm furs, of moose and cariboo skins, and distributed them around on the
settles and broad, high-backed benches, so that we could loll at our ease,
we began to realize a sense of being quite snug and cozy, and, indeed, got
used to it in a surprisingly short space of time.

"Now, then," said Picton, "this is what I call serene," and the traveller
relapsed into his usual activity; after a brief respite--"I say, give us
a song, will you, now, some of you; something about this jolly old place,
now--'Brave Wolfe,' or 'Boscawen,'" and he broke out--

    "'My name d'ye see's Tom Tough, I've seen a little sarvice,
        Where mighty billows roll and loud tempests blow;
    I've sailed with noble Howe, and I've sailed with noble Jarvis,
        And in Admiral Duncan's fleet I've sung yeo, heave, yeo!
            And more ye must be knowin',
            I was cox'son to Boscawen
            When our fleet attacked Louisburgh,
                And laid her bulwarks low.
            But push about the grog, boys!
            Hang care, it killed a cat,
            Push about the grog, and sing--
                Yeo, heave, yeo!'"

"Good Lord!" said the old fisherman, "I harn't heard that song for more'n
thirty years. Sing us another bit of it, please."

But Picton had not another bit of it; so he called lustily for some one
else to sing. "Hang it, sing something," said the traveller. "'How stands
the glass around;' that, you know, was written by Wolfe; at least, it was
sung by him the night before the battle of Quebec, and they call it
Wolfe's death song--

    'How stands the glass around?
      For shame, ye take no care, my boys!
    How stands the glass around?'"

Here Picton forgot the next line, and substituted a drink for it, in
correct time with the music:

    "'The trumpets sound;
        The colors flying are, my boys,
    To fight, kill, or wound'"----

Another slip of the memory [drink]:

    "'May we still be found,'"

He has found it, and repeats emphatically:

    "'May we still be found!
    Content with our hard fare, my boys,

[all drink]

    On the cold ground!'

"Then there is another song," said Picton, lighting his pipe with coal and
tongs; "'Wolfe and Montcalm'--you must know that," he continued,
addressing the old fisherman. But the ancient trilobite did not know it;
indeed, he was not a singer, so Picton trolled lustily forth--

    "'He lifted up his head,
        While the cannons did rattle,
    To his aid de camp he said,
        'How goes the battail?'
    The aid de camp, he cried,
        ''Tis in our favor;'
    'Oh! then,' brave Wolfe replied,
        'I die with pleasure!'"

"There," said Picton, throwing himself back upon the warm and cosy furs,
"I am at the end of my rope, gentlemen. Sing away, some of you," and the
traveller drew a long spiral of smoke through his tube, and ejected it in
a succession of beautiful rings at the beams overhead.

"Picton," said I, "what a strange, romantic interest attaches itself to
the memory of Wolfe. The very song you have sung, 'How stands the glass
around,' although not written by him, for it was composed before he was
born, yet has a currency from the popular belief that he sang it on the
evening preceding his last battle. And, indeed, it is by no means certain
that Gray's Elegy does not derive additional interest from a kindred
tradition."

"What is that?" said the traveller.

"Of course you will remember it. When Gray had completed the Elegy, he
sent a copy of it to his friend, General Wolfe, in America; and the story
goes, that as the great hero was sitting, wrapped in his military cloak,
on board the barge which the sailors were rowing up the St. Lawrence,
towards Quebec, he produced the poem, and read it in silence by the waning
light of approaching evening, until he came to these lines, which he
repeated aloud to his officers:

    'The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
        And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
      Await alike the inevitable hour'----"

Then pausing for a moment, he finished the stanza:

    "'The paths of glory lead but to the grave.'"

"Gentlemen," he added, "I would rather be the writer of this poem, than
the greatest conqueror the world ever produced."

"That's true," said the old fisherman, sententiously. "We are all bound to
that place, sometime or other."

"What place?" said Picton, rousing up.

"The berrying-ground," answered the ancient; "that is if we don't get
overboard instead."

"But," he continued, "since you are speaking of General Wolfe, you must
know my grandfather served under him at Minden, and at the battle here,
too, where he was wounded, and left behind, when the general went back to
England."

"I thought he went from this place to Quebec," said Picton.

"No, sir," replied the old man, "he went first to London, and came back
again, and then went to Canada. Well," he continued, "my grandfather
served under him, and was left here to get over his wownds, and so he
married my grandmother, and lived in Louisburgh after the French were all
sent away." Here the veteran placed his paws on the table, and looked out
into the infinite. We could see we were in for a long story. "All the
French soldiers and sailors, you see, were sent to England prisoners of
war--and the rest of the people were sent to France; the governor of this
here place was named Drucour; he was taken to Southampton, and put in
prison. Well now, as I was saying, this hutch of mine was built by my
father, just here by Wolfe's landing, for grandfather took a fancy to have
it built on this spot; you see, Wolfe rowed over one night in a boat all
alone from Lighthouse point yonder, and stood on the beach right under
this here old wall, looking straight up at the French sentry over his
head, and taking a general look at the town on both sides. There wasn't a
man in all his soldiers who would have stood there at that time for a
thousand pounds."

"What do you suppose the old file was doing over here?" inquired Picton,
who was getting sleepy.

"I don't know," answered our host, "except it was his daring. He was the
bravest man of his time, I've heard say--and so young"----

"Two and thretty only," said Bruce.

"And a tall, elegant officer, too," continued the ancient fisherman.
"I've heard tell how the French governor's lady used to send him
sweetmeats with a flag of truce, and he used to return his compliments and
a pine apple, or something of that kind. Ah, he was a great favorite with
the ladies! I've heard say, he was much admired for his elegant style of
dancing, and always ambitious to have a tall and graceful lady for his
partner, and then he was as much pleased as if he was in the thick of the
fight. He was a great favorite with the soldiers, too; very careful of
them, to see they were well nursed when they were sick, and sharing the
worst and the best with them; but my grandfather used to say, very strict,
too."

"Who was in command here, Wolfe or Amherst?"

"General Amherst was in command, and got the credit of it, too; but Wolfe
did the fighting--so grandfather used to say."

"What was the name of his leddy in the old country?" said Bruce.

"I do not remember," replied the ancient, "but I've heard it. You know he
was to be married, when he got back to England. And when the first shot
struck him in the wrist, at Quebec, he took out _her_ handkerchief from
his breast-pocket, smiled, wrapped it about the place, and went on with
the battle as if nothing had happened. But, soon after he got another
wound, and yet he wasn't disheartened, but waved his ratan over his head,
for none of the officers carried swords there, and kept on, until the
third bullet went through and through his breast, when he fell back, and
just breathed like, till word was brought that the French were retreating,
when he said, then 'I am content,' and so closed his eyes and died."

Here there was a pause. Our entertainer, waving his hand towards our mugs
of Glenlivet, by way of invitation, lifted his own to his mouth by the
handle, and with a dexterous tilt that showed practice, turned its bottom
towards the beams of the hutch.

"Do you remember any farther particulars of the siege of Louisburgh?" I
asked.

"Oh, yes," replied the old man, "I remember grandfather telling us how he
saw the bodies of fifteen or sixteen deserters hanging over the walls;
they were Germans that had been sold to the French, four years before the
war, by a Prussian colonel. Some of them got away, and came over to our
side. He used to say, the old town looked like a big ship when they came
up to it; it had two tiers of guns, one above the other, on the
south--that is towards Gabarus bay, where our troops landed. And now I
mind me of his telling that when they landed at Gabarus, they had a hard
fight with the French and Indians, until Col. Fraser's regiment of
Highlanders jumped overboard, and swam to a point on the rocks, and drove
the enemy away with their broad-swords."

"That was the 63d Highlanders," said Bruce, with immense gravity.

"Among the Indians killed at Gabarus," continued our host, "they say there
was one Micmac chief, who was six feet nine inches high. The French
soldiers were very much frightened when the Highland men climbed up on the
rocks; they called them English savages."

"That showed," said Bruce, "what a dommed ignorant set they were!"

"And, while I think of it," added our host, rising from his seat, "I have
a bit of the old time to show you," and so saying, he retreated from the
table, and presently brought forth a curious oak box from a mysterious
corner of the hutch, and after some difficulty in drawing out the sliding
cover, produced a roll of tawny newspapers, tied up with rope yarn, a
colored wood engraving in a black frame--a portrait, with the inscription,
"James Wolfe, Esq'r, Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in the
Expedition to Quebec," and on the reverse the following scrap from the
London Chronicle of October 7, 1759:

    "Amidst her conquests let Britannia groan
    For Wolfe! her gallant, her undaunted son;
    For Wolfe, whose breast bright Honor did inspire
    With patriot ardor and heroic fire;
    For Wolfe, who headed that intrepid band,
    Who, greatly daring, forced Cape Breton's strand.
    For Wolfe, who following still where glory call'd,
    No dangers daunted, no distress appall'd;
    Whose eager zeal disasters could not check,
    Intent to strike the blow which gained Quebec.
    For Wolfe, who, like the gallant Theban, dy'd
    In th' arms of victory--his country's pride."

This inscription I read aloud, and then, under the influence of the
loquacious potable, leaned back in my furry throne, crossed my hands over
my forehead, looked steadily into the blazing fire-place, and continued
the theme I had commenced an hour before.

"What a strange interest attaches itself to the memory of Wolfe! A
youthful hero, who, under less happy auspices, might have been known only
as the competent drill-master of regiments, elevated by the sagacity of
England's wisest statesman to a prominent position of command; there to
exhibit his generalship; there to retrieve the long list of disasters
which followed Braddock's defeat; there to annihilate forever every
vestige of French dominion in the Americas; to fulfill gloriously each
point of his mission; to achieve, not by long delays, but by rapid
movements, the conquest of two of the greatest fortresses in the
possession of the rival crown; to pass from the world amid the shouts of
victory--content in the fullness of his fame, without outliving it! His
was a noble, generous nature; brave without cruelty; ardent and warlike,
yet not insensible to the tenderest impulses of humanity. To die betrothed
and beloved, yet wedded only to immortal honor; to leave a mother, with a
nation weeping at her feet; to serve his country, without having his
patriotism contaminated by titles, crosses, and ribbons; this was the most
fortunate fate of England's greatest commander in the colonies! No wonder,
then, that with a grateful sympathy the laurels of his mother country were
woven with the cypress of her chivalric son; that hundreds of pens were
inspired to pay some tribute to his memory; that every branch of
representative art, from stone to ink, essayed to portray his living
likeness; that parliament and pulpit, with words of eloquence and
gratitude, uttered the universal sentiment!

"Brave Wolfe," I continued, "whose memory is linked with his no less
youthful rival, Montcalm"----here I was interrupted by the voice of the
mate of the Balaklava--

"I'll be dommed," said he, "if some person isn't afire!"

Then I unclasped my hands, opened my eyes, and looked around me.

The scene was a striking one. Right before me, with his grey head on the
table, buried in his piscatorial paws, lay the master of the hutch, fast
asleep. On a settle, one of the fishermen, who had been a devout listener
to all the legends of the grandson of the veteran of Louisburgh, was in a
similar condition; Bruce, our jolly first mate, with the pertinacity of
his race, was wide awake, to be sure, but there were unmistakable signs of
drowsiness in the droop of his eyelids; and Picton? That gentleman, buried
in moose and cariboo skins, prostrate on a broad bench, drawn up close by
the fire-place, was dreaming, probably, of sculpins, flounders, fish-pugh,
and dingledekooch!

"I say! wake up here!" said the jolly mate of the Balaklava; bringing his
fist down upon the table with an emphatic blow, that roused all the
sleepers except the traveller. "I say, wake up!" reiterated Brace, shaking
Picton by the shoulder. Then Picton raised himself from his couch, and
yawned twice; walked to the table, seated himself on a bench, thrust his
fingers through his black hair, and instantly fell asleep again, after
shaking out into the close atmosphere of the hutch a stifling odor of
animal charcoal.

"A little straw makes a great reek," said Bruce, laughing, "and when a mon
gives out before his pipe, he is like to be burnet," and he pointed to a
long black and brown singe on the worsted comforter of the traveller, by
which we understood that Picton had fallen asleep, pipe in mouth, and then
dropped his lighted _dudeen_ just on the safest part of his neck.

Once again we roused the sleeper; and so, shaking hands with our
hospitable host, we left the comfortable hutch at Wolfe's Landing, and
were soon on our way to the jolly little schooner.



CHAPTER VII.

The other side of the Harbor--A Foraging Party--Disappointment--Twilight
at Louisburgh--Long Days and Early Mornings--A Visit and View of an
Interior--A Shark Story--Picton inquires about a Measure--Hospitality and
the Two Brave Boys--Proposals for a Trip overland to Sydney.


To make use of a quaint but expressive phrase, "it is patent enough," that
travellers are likely to consume more time in reaching a place than they
are apt to bestow upon it when found. And, I am ashamed to say, that even
Louisburgh was not an exception to this general truth; although perhaps
certain reasons might be offered in extenuation for our somewhat speedy
departure from the precincts of the old town. First, then, the uncertainty
of a sailing vessel, for the "Balaklava" was coquettishly courting any and
every wind that could carry her out of our harbor of refuge. Next, the
desire of seeing more of the surroundings of the ancient fortress--the
batteries on the opposite side, the new town, the lighthouse, and the wild
picturesque coast. Add to these the wish of our captain to shift his
anchorage, to get on the side where he would have a better opening towards
the ocean, "when the wind came on to blow,"--to say nothing of being in
the neighborhood of his old friends, whose cottages dotted the green
hill-sides across the bay, as you looked over the bows of the jolly little
schooner. And there might have been other inducements--such as the hope of
getting a few pounds of white sugar, a pitcher of milk (delicious,
lacteous fluid, for which we had yearned so often amid the briny waves);
and last, but not least, a hamper of blue-nosed potatoes. So, when the
shades of the second evening were gathering grandly and gloomily around
the dismantled parapets, and Louisburgh lay in all the lovely and romantic
light of a red and stormy sunset, it seemed but fitting that the
cable-chain of the anchor should clank to the windlass, and the die-away
song of the mariner should resound above the calm waters, and the canvas
stretch towards the land opposite, that seemed so tempting and delectable.
And presently the "Balaklava" bore away across the red and purple harbor
for the new town, leaving in her wake the ruined walls of Louisburgh that
rose up higher the further we sailed from them.

The schooner dropped anchor inside the little cove on the opposite side of
the old town, which the reader will see by referring to the map; and the
old battles of the years '45 and '58 were presently forgotten in the new
aspects that were presented. The anchor was scarcely dropped fairly,
before the yawl-boat was under the stroke of the oars, and Picton and I
_en route_ for the store-house; the general, particular, and only exchange
in the whole district of Louisburgh. It was a small wooden building with a
fair array of tarpaulin hats, oil-skin garments, shelves of dry-goods and
crockery, and boxes and barrels, such as are usually kept by country
traders: on the beach before it were the customary flake for drying fish,
the brown winged boats, and other implements of the fisheries.

But alas! the new town, that looked so pastoral and pleasant, with its
tender slopes of verdure, was not, after all, a Canaan, flowing with milk
and blue-nosed potatoes. Neither was there white sugar, nor coffee, nor
good black tea there; the cabin of the schooner being as well furnished
with these articles of comfort as the store-house of McAlpin, towards
which we had looked with such longing eyes. Indeed, I would not have cared
so much about the disappointment myself, but I secretly felt sorry for
Picton, who went rummaging about the barrels in search of something to eat
or to drink. "No white sugar?" said the traveller. "_We don't have white
sugar in this town_," was the answer. "Nor coffee?" "No, Sir." And the tea
had the same flavor of musty hay, with which we were so well acquainted.
At last Picton stumbled over a prize--a bushel-basket half-filled with
potatoes, whereat he raised a bugle-note of triumph.

It may seem strange that a gentleman of fine education, a traveller, who
had visited the famous European capitals, London, Paris, Rome, Madrid,
Vienna; who had passed between the Pillars of Hercules, and voyaged upon
the blue Mediterranean, far as the Greek Archipelago; who had wandered
through the galleries of the Vatican, and mused within the courts of the
Alhambra; who had seen the fire-works on the carnival dome of St. Peter's,
and the water-works of Versailles; the temples of Athens, and the Boboli
gardens of Florence; the sculptures of Praxiteles, and the frescoes of
Raphael; should exhibit such emotion as Picton exhibited, over a
bushel-basket only half-filled with small-sized blue-nosed tubers. But
Picton was only a man, and "_Homo sum_----" the rest of the sentence it is
needless to quote. I saw at a glance that the potatoes were cut in halves
for planting; but Picton was filled with the divine idea of a feast.

"I say, we want a peck of potatoes."

"A peck?" was the answer. "Why, man, I wouldn't sell ye my seed-potatoes
at a guinea apiece."

Here was a sudden let-down; a string of the human violin snapped, just as
it was keyed up to tuning point. Slowly and sorrowfully we regained the
yawl after that brief and bitter experience, and a few strokes of the oars
carried us to the side of the "Balaklava."

It may seem absurd and trifling to dwell upon such slight particulars in
this itinerary of a month among the Blue Noses (as our brothers of Nova
Scotia are called); but to give a correct idea of this rarely-visited part
of the world, one must notice the salient points that present themselves
in the course of the survey. Louisburgh would speedly become rich from its
fisheries, if there were sufficient capital invested there and properly
used. Halifax is now the only point of contact between it and the outside
world; Halifax supplies it with all the necessary articles of life, and
Halifax buys all the produce of its fisheries. Therefore, Halifax reaps
all the profits on either side, both of buying and selling, in all not
amounting to much--as the matter now stands. But insomuch as the sluggish
blood of the colonies will never move without some quickening impulse from
exterior sources, and as Louisburgh is only ten days' sail, under canvas,
from New York, and as the fisheries there would rapidly grow by kindly
nurture into importance, it does seem as if a moderate amount of capital
diverted in that direction, would be a fortunate investment, both for the
investor and hardy fishermen of the old French town.

I have alluded before to the long Acadian twilights, the tender and loving
leave-takings between the day and his earth; just as two fond and foolish
young people separate sometimes, or as the quaint old poet in Britannia's
Pastorals describes it:

    "Look as a lover, with a lingering kiss,
    About to part with the best half that's his:
    Fain would he stay, but that he fears to do it,
    And curseth time for so fast hastening to it:
    Now takes his leave, and yet begins anew
    To make less vows than are esteemed true:
    Then says, he must be gone, and then doth find
    Something he should have spoke that's out of mind:
    _And while he stands to look for't in her eyes,
    Their sad, sweet glance so ties his faculties
    To think from what he parts that he is now
    As far from leaving her, or knowing how,
    As when he came_; begins his former strain,
    To kiss, to vow, and take his leave again;
    Then turns, comes back, sighs, pants, and yet doth go,
    Fain to retire, and loth to leave her so."

Even so these fond and foolish old institutions part company in northern
regions, and, at the early hour of two o'clock in the morning, the amorous
twilight reappears in his foggy mantle, to look at the fair face of his
ancient sweetheart in the month of June.

Tea being over, the "cluck" of the row-locks woke the echoes of the
twilight bay, as our little yawl put off again for the new town, with a
gay evening party, consisting of the captain, his lady, the baby, Picton
and myself, with a brace of Newfoundland oarsmen. If our galley was not a
stately one, it was at least a cheerful vessel, and as the keel grated on
the snow-white pebbles of the beach, Picton and I sprang ashore, with all
the gallantry of a couple of Sir Walter Raleighs, to assist the queen of
the "Balaklava" upon _terra firma_. Her majesty being landed, we made a
royal procession to the largest hutch on the green slope before us, the
captain carrying the insignia of his marital office (the baby) with great
pomp and awkward ceremony, in front, while his lady, Picton and I,
loitered in the rear. We had barely crossed the sill of the hutch-door,
before we felt quite at home and welcome. The same cheery fire in the
chimney-place, the spotless floor, the tidy rush-bottomed chairs, and a
whole nest of little white-heads and twinkling eyes, just on the border of
a bright patchwork quilt, was invitation enough, even if we had not been
met at the threshold by the master himself, who stretched out his great
arms with a kind, "Come-in-and-how-are-ye-all."

And what a wonderful evening we passed in that other hutch, before the
blazing hearth-fire! What stories of wrecks and rescues, of icebergs and
whales, of fogs and fisheries, of domestic lobsters that brought up their
little families, in the mouths of the sunken cannon of the French
frigates; of the great sharks that were sometimes caught in the meshes of
the set-nets! "There was one shark," said our host, another old fisherman,
who, by the way, wore a red skull-cap like a cardinal, and had a habit of
bobbing his head as he spoke, so as to put one continually in mind of a
gigantic woodpecker--"there was one shark I mind particular. My two boys
and me was hauling in the net, and soon as I felt it, says I, 'Boys,
here's something more than common.' So we all hauled away, and O my!
didn't the water boil when he come up? Such a time! Fortnatly, he come up
tail first. LORD, if he'd a come up head first he'd a bit the boat in two
at one bite! He was all hooked in, and twisted up with the net. I s'pose
he had forty hooks in him; and when he got his head above water, he was
took sick, and such a time as he had! He must a' vomited up about two
barrels of bait--true as I set here. Well, as soon as he got over that,
then he tried to get his head around to bite! LORD, if he'd got his head
round, he'd a bit the boat in two, and we had it right full of fish, for
we'd been out all day with hand-lines. He had a nose in front of his gills
just like a duck, only it was nigh upon six feet long."

"It must have been a shovel-nose shark," said Picton.

"That's what a captain of a coaster told me," replied Red-Cap; "he said it
must a been a shovel-nose. If he'd only got that shovel-nose turned
around, he'd a shovelled us into eternity, fish and all."

"What prevented him getting his head around?" said Picton.

"Why, sir, I took two half-hitches round his tail, soon as I see him come
up. And I tell ye when I make two half-hitches, they hold; ask captain
there, if I can't make hitches as will hold. What say, captain?"

Captain assented with a confirmatory nod.

"What did you do then?" said Picton. "Did you get him ashore?"

"Get him ashore?" muttered Red-Cap, covering his mouth with one broad
brown hand to muffle a contemptuous laugh; "get him ashore! why, we was
pretty well off shore for such a sail."

"You might have rowed him ashore," said Picton.

"Rowed him ashore?" echoed Red-Cap, with another contemptuous smile under
the brown hand; "rowed him ashore?"

The traveller, finding he was in deep water, answered: "Yes; that is, if
you were not too far out."

"A little too far out," replied Red-Cap; "why if I had been a hundred
yards only from shore, it would ha' been too far to row, or sail in, with
that shovel-nose, without counting the set-nets."

"And what did you do?" said Picton, a little nettled.

"Why," said Red-Cap, "I had to let him go, but first I cut out his liver,
and that I did bring ashore, although it filled my boat pretty well full.
You can judge how big it was: after I brought it ashore I lay it out on
the beach and we measured it, Mr. McAlpin and me, and he'll tell you so
too; we laid it out on the beach, that ere liver, and it measured
seventeen feet, and then we didn't measure all of it."

"Why the devil," said Picton, "didn't you measure all of it?"

"Well," replied Red-Cap, "because we hadn't a measure long enough."

Meantime the good lady of the hutch was busy arranging some tumblers on
the table, and to our great surprise and delight a huge yellow pitcher of
milk soon made its appearance, and immediately after an old-fashioned iron
bake-pan, with an upper crust of live embers and ashes, was lifted off the
chimney trammel, and when it was opened, the fragrance of hot ginger-bread
filled the apartment. Then Red-Cap bobbed away at a corner cupboard, until
he extracted therefrom a small keg or runlet of St. Croix rum of most ripe
age and choice flavor, some of which, by an adroit and experienced crook
of the elbow, he managed to insinuate into the milk, which, with a little
brown sugar, he stirred up carefully and deliberately with a large spoon,
Picton and I watching the proceedings with intense interest. Then the
punch was poured out and handed around; while the good wife made little
trips from guest to guest with a huge platter filled with the brown and
fragrant pieces of the cake, fresh from the bake-pan. And so the baby
having subsided (our baby of the "Balaklava"), and the twilight having
given place to a grand moonlight on the bay, and the fire sending out its
beams of warmth and happiness, glittering on the utensils of the dresser,
and tenderly touching with rosy light the cheeks of the small,
white-headed fishermen on the margin of the patchwork quilt; while there
was no lack of punch and hospitality in the yellow pitcher, who shall say
that we were not as well off in the fisherman's hutch as in a grand
saloon, surrounded with frescoes and flunkeys, and served with thin
lemonade upon trays of silver?

I do not know why it is, but there always has been something very
attractive to me in the faces of children; I love to read the physiognomy
of posterity, and so get a history of the future world in miniature,
before the book itself is fairly printed. And insomuch as Nova Scotia and
Newfoundland are said to be the nurseries of England's seamen, it was with
no little interest that I caught a glimpse of two boys, one thirteen, the
other eleven years old, the eldest children of our friend Red-Cap.

They came in just as we entered the hutch, and quietly seated themselves
together by the corner of the fire-place, after modestly shaking hands
with all the guests. They were dressed in plain home-spun clothes, with
something of a sailor rig, especially the neat check shirts, and
old-fashioned, little, low-quartered, round-toed shoes, such as are always
a feature in the melo-drama where Jack plays a part. It is not usual, too,
to see such stocky, robust frames as these fisher-boys presented; and in
all three, in the father and his two sons, was one general, pervading
idea of cleanliness and housewifery. And then, to notice the physiognomy
again, each small face, though modest as that of no girl which I could
recall at the moment, had its own tale of hardihood to tell; there was a
something that recalled the open sea, written in either countenance;
courage and endurance; faith and self-reliance; the compass and the
rudder; speaking plainly out under each little thatch of white hair. And
indeed, as we found out afterwards, those young countenances told the
truth; those fisher-boys were Red-Cap's only boat-crew. In all weathers,
in all seasons, by night and by day, the three were together, the parent
and his two children, upon the perilous deep.

"If I were the father of those boys," I whispered to Red-Cap, "I would be
proud of them."

"Would ye?" said he, with a proud, fatherly glance towards them; "well, I
thought so once mysel'; it was when a schooner got ashore out there on the
rocks; and we could see her, just under the lights of the lighthouse,
pounding away; and by reason of the ice, nobody would venture; so my boys
said, says they, 'Father, we can go, any way.' So I wouldn't stop when
they said that, and so we laid beside the schooner and took off all her
crew pretty soon, and they mostly dead with the cold; but it was an awful
bad night, what with the darkness and the ice. Yes," he added, after a
pause, "they are good boys now; but they won't be with me many years."

"And why not?" I inquired, for I could not see that the young Red-Caps
exhibited any migratory signs of their species to justify the remark.

"Because all our boys go to the States just as soon as they get old
enough."

"To the States!" I echoed with no little surprise; "why, I thought they
all entered the British Navy, or something of that kind."

"Lord bless ye," said Red-Cap, "not one of them. Enter the British Navy!
Why, man, you get the whole of our young people. What would they want to
enter the British Navy for, when they can enter the United States of
America?"

"The air of Cape Breton is certainly favorable to health," said I, in a
whisper, to Picton; "look, for example, at the mistress of the hutch!" and
so surely as I have a love of womanity, so surely I intended to convey a
sentiment of admiration in the brief words spoken to Picton. The wife of
_Bonnet Rouge_ was at least not young, but her cheek was smooth, and
flushed with the glow of health; her eyes liquid and bright; her hair
brown, and abundant; her step light and elastic. Although neither Picton,
captain, or anybody else in the hutch would remind one of the Angel
Raphael, yet Mrs. Red-Cap, as

    ----"With dispatchful looks, in haste
    She turned, on hospitable thoughts intent,"

was somewhat suggestive of Eve; her movements were grand and simple; there
was a welcome in her face that dimpled in and out with every current
topic; a Miltonic grandeur in her air, whether she walked or waited. I
could not help but admire her, as I do everything else noble and easily
understood. Mrs. Red-Cap was a splendid woman; the wife of a fisherman,
with an unaffected grace beyond the reach of art, and poor old Louisburgh
was something to speak of. Picton expressed his admiration in stronger and
profaner language.

We were not the only guests at Red-Cap's. The lighthouse keeper, Mr.
Kavanagh, a bachelor and scholar, with his sister, had come down to take a
moonlight walk over the heather; for in new Scotland as in old Scotland,
the bonny heather blooms, although not so much familiarized there by song
and story. But we shall visit lighthouse Point anon, and spend some hours
with the two Kavanaghs. Forthright, into the teeth of the harbor, the wind
is blowing: "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou nearest the sound
therof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth." How
long the "Balaklava" may stay here is yet uncertain. So, with a good-night
to the Red-Caps and their guests, we once more bear away for the cabin of
the schooner and another night's discomfort.

As I have said before in other words, this province is nothing more than a
piece of patchwork, intersected with petty boundary lines, so that every
nation is stitched in and quilted in spots, without any harmony, or
coherence, or general design. The people of Louisburgh are a kind,
hospitable, pleasant people, tolerably well informed for the inhabitants
of so isolated a corner of the world; but a few miles further off we come
upon a totally different race: a canting, covenanting, oat-eating,
money-griping, tribe of second-hand Scotch Presbyterians: a transplanted,
degenerate, barren patch of high cheek-bones and red hair, with nothing
cleaving to them of the original stock, except covetousness and that
peculiar cutaneous eruption for which the mother country is celebrated.
But we shall soon have enough of these Scotsmen, good reader. Our present
visit is to Lighthouse Point, to look out upon the broad Atlantic, the
rocky coast, and the island battery, which a century since gave so much
trouble to our filibustering fathers of New England. As we walked towards
the lighthouse over the pebbly beach that borders the green turf, Picton
suddenly starts off and begins a series of great jumps on the turf, giving
with every grasshopper-leap a sort of interjectional "Whuh! whuh!" as
though the feat was not confined to the leg-muscles only, but included
also a necessary exercise of the lungs. And although we shouted at the
traveller, he kept on towards the lighthouse, uttering with every jump,
"Heather, heather." At last he came to, beside a group of evergreens, and
grew rational. The springy, elastic sod, the heather of old Scotland,
reproduced in new Scotland, had reminded him of reels and strathspeys,
"for," said he, "nobody can walk upon this sort of thing without feeling a
desire to dance upon it. Thunder and turf! if we only had the pipes now!"

And sure enough here was the heather; the soft, springy turf, which has
made even Scotchmen affectionate. I do not wonder at it; it answers to the
foot-step like an echo, as the string of an instrument answers its
concord; as love answers love in unison. I do not wonder that Scotchmen
love the heather; I am only surprised that so much heather should be
wasted on Scotchmen.

We had anticipated a fine marine view from the lighthouse, but in place of
it we could only see a sort of semi-luminous vapor, usually called a fog,
which enveloped ocean, island, and picturesque coast. We could not
discover the Island Battery opposite, which had bothered Sir William in
the siege of '45; but nevertheless, we could judge of the difficulty of
reaching it with a hostile force, screened as it was by its waves and
vapors. The lighthouse is striped with black and white bars, like a zebra,
and we entered it. One cannot help but admire such order and neatness, for
the lighthouse is a marvel of purity. We were everywhere--in the
bed-rooms, in the great lantern with its glittering lamps, in the hall,
the parlor, the kitchen; and found in all the same pervading virtue; as
fresh and sweet as a bride was that old zebra-striped lighthouse. The
Kavanaghs, brother and sister, live here entirely alone; what with books
and music, the ocean, the ships, and the sky, they have company enough.
One could not help liking them, they have such cheerful faces, and are so
kind and hospitable. Good bye, good friends, and peace be with you always!
On our route schooner-ward we danced back over the heather, Picton with
great joy carrying a small basket filled with his national fruit--a
present from the Kavanaghs. What a feast we shall have, fresh fish,
lobster, and above all--potatoes!

It is a novel sight to see the firs and spruces on this stormy sea-coast.
They grow out, and not up; an old tree spreading over an area of perhaps
twenty feet in diameter, with the inevitable spike of green in its centre,
and that not above a foot and a half from the ground. The trees in this
region are possessed of extraordinary sagacity; they know how hard the
wind blows at times, and therefore put forth their branches in full squat,
just like country girls at a pic-nic.

On Sunday the wind is still ahead, and Picton and I determine to abandon
the "Balaklava." How long she may yet remain in harbor is a matter of
fate; so, with brave, resolute hearts, we start off for a five-mile walk,
to McGibbet's, the only owner of a horse and wagon in the vicinity of
Louisburgh. Squirrels, robins, and rabbits appear and disappear in the
road as we march forwards. The country is wild, and in its pristine state;
nature everywhere. Now a brook, now a tiny lake, and "the murmuring pines
and the hemlocks." At last we arrive at the house of McGibbet, and
encounter new Scotland in all its original brimstone and oatmeal.



CHAPTER VIII.

A Blue-Nosed Pair of the most Cerulean Hue--Prospects of a Hard
Bargain--Case of Necessity--Romantic Lake with an Unromantic Name--The
Discussion concerning Oatmeal--Danger of the Gasterophili--McGibbet
makes a Proposition--Farewell to the "Balaklava"--A Midnight
Journey--Sydney--Boat Excursion to the Mic Macs--Picton takes off his
Mackintosh.


Some learned philosopher has asserted that when a person has become
accustomed to one peculiar kind of diet, it will be expressed in the
lineaments of his face. How much the constant use of oatmeal could produce
such an effect, was plainly visible in the countenances of McGibbet and
his lady-love. Both had an unmistakable equine cast; McGibbet, wild,
scraggy, and scrubby, with a tuft on his poll that would not have been out
of place between the ears of a plough-horse, stared at us, just as such an
animal would naturally over the top of a fence; while his gentle mate, who
had more of the amiable draught-horse in her aspect, winked at us with
both eyes from under a close-crimped frill, that bore a marvellous
resemblance to a head-stall. The pair had evidently just returned from
kirk. To say nothing of McGibbet's hat, and his wife's shawl, on a chair,
and his best boots on the hearth (for he was walking about in his
stockings), there was a dry _preceese_ air about them, which plainly
betokened they were newly stiffened up with the moral starch of the
conventicle, and were therefore well prepared to drive a hard bargain for
a horse and wagon to Sydney. But what surprised me most of all was the
imperturbable coolness of Picton. Without taking a look scarcely at the
persons he was addressing, the traveller stalked in with an--"I say, we
want a horse and wagon to Sydney; so look sharp, will you, and turn out
the best thing you have here?"

The moral starch of the conventicle stiffened up instantly. Like the
blacksmith of Cairnvreckan, who, as a _professor_, would drive a nail for
no man on the Sabbath or kirk-fast, unless in a case of absolute
necessity, and then always charged an extra saxpence for each shoe; so it
was plain to be seen that McGibbet had a conscience which required to be
pricked both with that which knows no law, and the saxpence extra. He
turned to his wife and addressed her in _Gaelic_! Then we knew what was
coming.

Mrs. McGibbet opened the subject by saying that they were both accustomed
to the observance of the Sabbath, and that "she didn't think it was right
for man to transgress, when the law was so plain"----

Here McGibbet broke in and said that--"He was free to confess he had
commeeted a grreat menny theengs kwhich were a grreat deal worse than
Sabbath-breaking."

Upon which Mrs. McG. interrupted him in turn with a few words, which,
although in Gaelic, a language we did not understand, conveyed the
impression that she was not addressing her liege lord in the language of
endearment, and again continued in English: "That it was held sinful in
the community to wark or do anything o' the sort, or to fetch or carry
even a sma bundle"----

"For kwich," said McGibbet, "is a fine to be paid to the meenister, of
five shillins currency"----

Here Picton stopped whistling a bar of "Bonny Doon," and observed to me:
"About a dollar of your money. We'll pay the fine."

"Yes," chimed in McGibbet, "a dollar"----and was again stopped by his
wife, who raised her eyebrows to the borders of her kirk-frill and brought
them down vehemently over her blue eyes at him.

"Or to travel the road," she said, "even on foot, to say nothing of a
wagon and horse."

"But," interrupted Picton, "my dear madam, we must get on, I tell you; I
must be in Sydney to-morrow, to catch the steamer for St. John's."

At this observation of the traveller the pair fell back upon their Gaelic
for a while, and in the meantime Picton whispered me: "I see; they want to
raise the price on us: but we won't give in; they'll be sharp enough after
the job by and by."

The pair turned towards us and both shook their heads. It was plain to be
seen the conference had not ended in our favor.

"Ye see," said the gude-wife, "we are accustomed to the observance of the
Sabbath, and would na like to break it, except"--

"In a case of necessity; you are perfectly right," chimed in Picton; "I
agree with you myself. Now this is a case of necessity; here we are; we
must get on, you see; if we don't get on we miss the steamer to-morrow for
St. John's--she only runs once a fortnight there--it's plain enough a
clear case of necessity; it's like," continued Picton, evidently trying to
corner some authority in his mind, "it's like--let me see--it's
like--a--pulling--a sheep out of a ditch--a--which they always do on the
Sabbath, you know, to a--get us on to Sydney."

Both McGibbet and his wife smiled at Picton's ingenuity, but straightway
put on the equine look again. "It might be so; but it was clean contrary
to their preenciples."

"I'll be hanged," whispered Picton, "if I offer more than the usual price,
which I heard at Louisburgh was one pound ten, to Sydney, and the fine
extra. I see what they are after."

There was an awkward pause in the negotiations. McGibbet scratched his
poll, and looked wistfully at his wife, but the kirk-frill was stiffened
up with the moral starch, as aforesaid.

Suddenly, Picton looked out of the window. "By Jove!" said he, "I think
the wind is changed! After all, we may get around in the 'Balaklava.'"

McGibbet looked somewhat anxiously out of the window also, and grunted out
a little more Gaelic to his love. The kirk-frill relented a trifle.

"Perhaps the gentlemen wad like a glass of milk after thae long walk? and
Robert" (which she pronounced Robbut), "a bit o' the corn-cake."

Upon which Robbut, with great alacrity, turned towards the bed-room, from
whence he brought forth a great white disk, that resembled the head of a
flour-barrel, but which proved to be a full-grown griddle cake of
corn-meal. This, with the pure milk, from the cleanest of scoured pans,
was acceptable enough after the long walk.

We had observed some beautiful streams, and blue glimpses of lakes on the
road to McGibbet's, and just beyond his house was a larger lake, several
miles in extent, with picturesque hills on either side, indented-with
coves, and studded with islands, sometimes stretching away to distant
slopes of green turf, and sometimes reflecting masses of precipitous rock,
crowned with the spiry tops of spruces and firs. Indeed, all the country
around, both meadow and upland, was very pleasing to the sight. A low
range of hills skirted the northern part of what seemed to be a spacious,
natural amphitheatre, while on the south side a diversity of highlands and
water added to the whole the charm of variety.

"You have a fine country about you, Mr. McGibbet," said I.

"Ay," he replied.

"And what is it called here?"

"We ca' it Get-Along!" said Robbut, with an intensely Scotch accent on the
"Get."

"And yonder beautiful lake--what is the name of that?" said I, in hopes of
taking refuge behind something more euphonious.

"Oh! ay," replied he, "that's just Get-Along, too. We doan't usually speak
of it, but whan we do, we just ca' it Get-Along Lake, and it's not good
for much."

I thought it best to change the subject. "Do you like this as well as the
oat-cake?" said I, with my mouth full of the dry, husky provender.

"Nae," said McGibbet, with an equine shake of the head, "it's not sae
fellin."

Not so filling! Think of that, ye pampered minions of luxury, who live
only upon delicate viands; who prize food, not as it useful, but as it is
tasteful; who can even encourage a depraved, sensual appetite so far as to
appreciate flavor; who enjoy meats, fish, and poultry, only as they
minister to your palates; who flirt with spring-chickens and trifle with
sweet-breads in wanton indolence, without a thought of your cubic
capacity; without a reflection that you can live just as well upon so many
square inches of oatmeal a day as you can upon the most elaborate French
kickshaws; nay, that you can be elevated to the level of a scientific
problem, and work out your fillings, with nothing to guide you but a slate
and pencil!

"Then you like oatmeal better than this?" said Picton, soothing down a
husky lump, with a cup of milk.

"Ay," responded McGibbet.

"And you always eat it, whenever you can get it, I suppose?" continued
Picton, with a most innocent air.

"Ay," responded McGibbet.

"I should think some of you Scotchmen would be afraid of contracting a
disease that is engendered in the system by the use of this sort of grain.
I hope, Mr. McGibbet," said Picton, with imperturbable coolness, "you keep
clear of the bots, and that sort of thing, you know?"

"Kwat?" said Robbut, with the most startled, horse-like look he had yet
put on.

"The gasterophili," replied Picton, "which I would advise you to steer
clear of, if you want to live long."

As this was a word with too many gable-ends for Robbut's comprehension, he
only responded by giving such a smile as a man might be expected to give
who had his mouth full of aloes, and as the conversation was wandering off
from the main point, addressed himself to Mrs. McG. in the vernacular
again.

"We would like to obleege ye," said the lady, "if it was not for the
transgression; and we do na like to break the Sabbath for ony man."

"Although," interposed Robbut, "I am free to confess that I have done a
great many things worse than breakin' the Sabbath."

"But if to-morrow would do as well," resumed his wife, "Robbut would take
ye to Sydney."

To this Picton shook his head. "Too late for the steamer."

"Or to-night; I wad na mind that," said the pious Robbut, "_if it was
after dark_, and that will bring ye to Sydney before the morn."

"That will do," said Picton, slapping his thigh. "Lend us your horse and
wagon to go down to the schooner and get our luggage; we will be back this
evening, and then go on to Sydney, eh? That will do; a ride by moonlight;"
and the traveller jumped up from his seat, walked with great strides
towards the fire-place, turned his back to the blaze, hung a coat-tail
over each arm, and whistled "Annie Laurie" at Mrs. McGibbet.

The suggestion of Picton meeting the views of all concerned, the diplomacy
ended. Robbut put himself in his Sunday boots, and hitched up a spare rib
of a horse before a box-wagon without springs, which he brought before the
door with great complacency. The traveller and I were soon on the
ground-floor of the vehicle, seated upon a log of wood by way of cushion;
and with a chirrup from McGibbet, off we went. At the foot of the first
hill, our horse stopped; in vain Picton jerked at the rein, and shouted at
him: not a step further would he go, until Robbut himself came down to the
rescue. "Get along, Boab!" said his master; and Bob, with a mute, pitiful
appeal in his countenance, turned his face towards salt-water. At the
foot of the next hill he stopped again, when the irascible Picton jumped
out, and with one powerful twitch of the bridle, gave Boab such a hint to
"get on," that it nearly jerked his head off. And Boab did get on, only to
stop at the ascent of the next hill. Then we began to understand the
tactics of the animal. Boab had been the only conveyance between
Louisburgh and Sydney for many years, and, as he was usually
over-burdened, made a point to stop at the up side of every hill on the
road, to let part of his freight get out and walk to the top of the
acclivity with him. So, by way of compromise, we made a feint of getting
out at every rise of ground, and Boab, who always turned his head around
at each stopping-place, seemed to be satisfied with the observance of the
ceremony, and trotted gaily forward. At last we came to a place we had
named Sebastopol in the morning--a great sharp edge of rock as high as a
man's waist, that cut the road in half, over which we lifted the wagon,
and were soon in view of the bright little harbor and the "Balaklava" at
anchor. Mr. McAlpin kindly gave quarters to our steed in his out-house,
and offered to raise a signal for the schooner to send a boat ashore. As
he was Deputy United States Consul, and as I was tired of the red-cross of
St. George, I asked him to hoist his consular flag. Up to the flag-staff
truck rose the roll of white and red worsted, then uncoiled, blew out, and
the blessed stars and stripes were waving over me. It is surprising to
think how transported one can be sometimes with a little bit of bunting!

And now the labor of packing commenced, of which Picton had the greatest
share by far; the little cabin of the schooner was pretty well spread out
with his traps on every side; and this being ended, Picton got out his
travelling-organ and blazed away in a _finale_ of great tunes and small,
sometimes fast, sometimes slow, as the humor took him. After all, we
parted from the jolly little craft with regret: our trunks were lowered
over the side; we shook hands with all on board; and were rowed in silence
to the land.

I have had some experience in travelling, and have learned to bear with
ordinary firmness and philosophy the incidental discomforts one is certain
to meet with on the road; but I must say, the discipline already acquired
had not prepared me for the unexpected appearance of our wagon after
Picton's luggage was placed in it. First, two solid English trunks of
sole-leather filled the bottom of the vehicle; then the traveller's
Minié-rifle, life-preserver, strapped-up blankets, and hand-bag were
stuffed in the sides: over these again were piled my trunk and the
traveller's valise (itself a monster of straps and sole-leather); then
again his portable-secretary and the hand-organ in a box. These made such
a pyramid of luggage, that riding ourselves was out of the question. What
with the trunks and the cordage to keep them staid, our wagon looked like
a ship of the desert. To crown all, it began to rain steadily. "Now,
then," said Picton, climbing up on his confounded travelling equipage,
"let's get on." With some difficulty I made a half-seat on the corner of
my own trunk; Picton shouted out at Boab; the Newfoundland sailors who had
brought us ashore, put their shoulders to the wheels, and away we went,
waving our hats in answer to the hearty cheers of the sailors. It was down
hill from McAlpin's to the first bridge, and so far we had nothing to care
for, except to keep a look-out we were not shaken off our high perch. But
at the foot of the first hill Boab stopped! In vain Picton shouted at him
to get on; in vain he shook rein and made a feint of getting down from the
wagon. Boab was not intractable, but he was sagacious; he had been fed on
that sort of chaff too long. Picton and I were obliged to humor his
prejudices, and dismount in the mud, and after one or two feeble attempts
at a ride, gave it up, walked down hill and up, lifted the wagon by inches
over Sebastopol, and finally arrived at McGibbet's, wet, tired, and
hungry. That Sabbath-broker received us with a grim smile of satisfaction,
put on the half-extinguished fire the smallest bit of wood he could find
in the pile beside the hearth, and then went away with Boab to the stable.
"Gloomy prospects ahead, Picton!" The traveller said never a word.

Now I wish to record here this, that there is no place, no habitation of
man, however humble, that cannot be lighted up with a smile of welcome,
and the good right-hand of hospitality, and made cheerful as a palace hung
with the lamps of Aladdin!

McGibbet, after leading his beast to the stable, returned, and warming his
wet hands at the fire, grunted out; "It rains the nigcht."

"Yes," answered Picton, hastily, "rains like blue blazes: I say, get us a
drop of whisky, will you?"

To this the equine replied by folding his hands one over the other with a
saintly look. "I never keep thae thing in the hoose."

"Picton," said I, "if we could only unlash our luggage, I have a bottle of
capital old brandy in my trunk, but it's too much trouble."

"Oh! na," quoth Robbut with a most accommodating look, "it will be nae
trooble to get to it."

"Well, then," said Picton, "look sharp, will you?" and our host, with
great swiftness, moved off to the wagon, and very soon returned with the
trunk on his shoulder, according to directions.

"But," said I, taking out the bottle of precious fluid, "here it is,
corked up tight, and what is to be done for a cork-screw?"

"I've got one," said the saint.

"I thought it was likely," quoth Picton, drily; "look sharp, will you?"

And Robbut did look sharp, and produced the identical instrument before
Picton and I had exchanged smiles. Then Robbut spread out three green
tumblers on the table, and following Picton's lead, poured out a stout
half-glass, at which I shouted out, "Hold up!" for I thought he was
filling the tumbler for my benefit. It proved to be a mistake; Robbut
stopped for a moment, but instantly recovering himself, covered the
tumbler with his four fingers, and, to use a Western phrase, "got outside
of the contents quicker than lightning." Then he brought from his bed-room
a coarse sort of worsted horse-blanket, and with a "Ye'll may-be like to
sleep an hour or twa?" threw down his family-quilt and retired to the arms
of Mrs. McG. Picton gave a great crunching blow with his boot-heel at the
back-stick, and laid on a good supply of fuel. We were wet through and
through, but we wrapped ourselves in our travelling-blankets like a brace
of clansmen in their plaids, put our feet towards the niggardly blaze, and
were soon bound and clasped with sleep.

At two o'clock our host roused us from our hard bed, and after a stretch,
to get the stiffness out of joints and muscles, we took leave of the
Presbyterian quarters. The day was just dawning: at this early hour, lake
and hill-side, tree and thicket, were barely visible in the grey twilight.
The wagon, with its pyramid of luggage, moved off in the rain, McGibbet
walking beside Boab, and Picton and I following after, with all the
gravity of chief mourners at a funeral. To give some idea of the road we
were upon, let it be understood, it had once been an old _French_ military
road, which, after the destruction of the fortress of Louisburgh, had been
abandoned to the British Government and the elements. As a consequence, it
was embroidered with the ruts and gullies of a century, the washing of
rains, and the tracks of wagons; howbeit, the only traverse upon it in
later years were the wagon of McGibbet and the saddle-horse of the
post-rider. "Get-Along" had a population of seven hundred Scotch
Presbyters, and therefore it will be easy to understand the condition of
its turnpike.

Up hill and down hill, through slough and over rock, we trudged, for mile
after mile. Sometimes beside Get-Along Lake, with its grey, spectral
islands and woodlands; sometimes by rushing brooks and dreary farm-fields;
now in paths close set with evergreens; now in more open grounds, skirted
with hills and dotted with silent, two-penny cottages. Sometimes Picton
mounted his pyramid of trunk-leather for a mile or so of nods; sometimes I
essayed the high perch, and holding on by a cord, dropped off in a
moment's forgetfulness, with the constant fear of waking up in a mud-hole,
or under the wagon-wheels. But even these respites were brief. It is not
easy to ride up hill and down by rock and rut, under such conditions. We
were very soon convinced it was best to leave the wagon to its load of
sole-leather, and walk through the mud to Sydney.

After mouldy Halifax, and war-worn Louisburgh, the little town of Sydney
is a pleasant rural picture. Everybody has heard of the Sydney coal-mines:
we expected to find the miner's finger-marks everywhere; but instead of
the smoky, sulphurous atmosphere, and the black road, and the sulky,
grimy, brick tenements, we were surprised with clean, white,
picket-fences; and green lawns, and clever, little cottages, nestled in
shrubbery and clover. The mines are over the bay, five miles from South
Sydney. Slowly we dragged on, until we came to a sleepy little one-story
inn, with supernatural dormer windows rising out of the roof, before
which Boab stopped. We _paid_ McGibbet's kirk-fine, wagon-fare, and his
unconscionable charge for his conscience, without parleying with him; we
were too sleepy to indulge in the luxury of a monetary skirmish. A pretty,
red-cheeked chambermaid, with lovely drooping eyes, showed us to our
rooms; it was yet very early in the morning; we were almost ashamed to get
into bed with such dazzling white sheets after the dark-brown
accommodations of the "Balaklava;" but we did get in, and slept; oh! how
sweetly! until breakfast at one!

"Twenty-four miles of such foot-travel will do pretty well for an invalid,
eh, Picton?"

"All serene?" quoth the traveller, interrogatively.

"Feel as well as ever I did in my life," said I, with great satisfaction.

"Then let's have a bath," and, at Picton's summons, the chambermaid
brought up in our rooms two little tubs of fair water, and a small pile of
fat, white napkins. The bathing over, and the outer men new clad, "from
top to toe," down we went to the cosy parlor to breakfast; and such a
breakfast!

I tell you, my kind and gentle friend; _you_, who are now reading this
paragraph, that here, as in all other parts of the world, there are a
great many kinds of people; only that here, in Nova Scotia, the
difference is in spots, not in individuals. And I will venture to say to
those philanthropists who are eternally preaching "of the masses," and "to
the masses," that here "masses" can be found--concrete "masses," not yet
individualized: as ready to jump after a leader as a flock of sheep after
a bell-wether; only that at every interval of five or ten miles between
place and place in Nova Scotia, they are apt to jump in contrary
directions. There are Scotch Nova Scotiaites even in Sydney. Otherwise the
place is marvellously pleasant.

I must confess that I had a romantic sort of idea in visiting Sydney; a
desire to return by way of the _Bras d'Or_ lake, the "arm of gold," the
inland sea of Cape Breton, that makes the island itself only a border for
the water in its interior. And as the navigation is frequently performed
by the Micmac Indians, in their birch-bark canoes, I determined to be a
_voyageur_ for the nonce, and engage a couple of Micmacs to paddle me
homewards, at least one day's journey. The wigwams of the tribe were
pitched about a mile from the town, and I proposed a visit to their camp
as an afternoon's amusement. Picton readily assented, and down we went to
the wharf, where the landlady assured us we would find some of the tribe.
These Indians, often expert coopers, are employed to barrel up fish; the
busy wharf was covered with laborers, hard at work, heading and hooping
ship loads of salt mackerel; and among the workmen were some with the
unmistakable lozenge eyes, high cheek-bones, and rhubarb complexion of the
native American. Upon inquiry, we were introduced to one of the
Rhubarbarians. He was a little fellow, not in leggings and
quill-embroidered hunting-shirt, with belt of wampum and buckskin
moccasins; armed with bow and arrow, tomahawk and scalping-knife; such as
one would expect to navigate a wild, romantic lake with, in birch-bark
canoe; but a pinched-up specimen of a man, in a seedy black suit, out of
which rose a broad, flat face, like the orb of a sun-flower, bearing one
side the aboriginal black eye, and on the other the civilized, surrounded
with the blue and purple halo of battle. We had barely opened our business
with the Indian, when a bonny Scotchman, a fellow-cooper of salt mackerel,
introduced himself:

"Oh, ye visit the Micmacs the day?"

No answer.

"De'il a canoe has he to tak ye there" (the Indian slunk away), "but I'll
tak ye tull 'em for one and saxpence, in a gude boat."

The fellow had such an honest face, and the offer was so fair and
earnest, that Picton's and my own trifling prejudices were soon overcome,
and we directed Malcolm, for that was his name, to bring his boat under
the inn-windows after the dinner-hour. I regret to say that we found
Malcolm tolerably drunk after dinner, with a leaky boat, under the
inn-windows. And farther, I am pained to state the national characteristic
was developed in Malcolm drunk, from which there was no appeal to Malcolm
sober, for he insisted upon double fare, and time was pressing. To this we
assented, after a brief review of former prejudices. We got in the boat
and put off. We had barely floated away into the beautiful landscape when
a fog swept over us, and Malcolm's nationality again woke up. He would
have four times as much as he had charged in the first instance, or "he'd
tak us over, and land us on the ither side of the bay."

Then Picton's nationality woke up, and he unbuttoned his mackintosh. "Now,
sir," said he to Malcolm, as he rose from his seat in the boat, his head
gracefully inclined towards his starboard shirt-collar, and his two
tolerably large fists arrayed in order of battle within a few brief inches
of the delinquent's features, "did I understand you to say that you had
some idea of taking this gentleman and myself _to the other side of the
bay_?"

There was a boy in our boat--a fair-haired, blue-eyed representative of
Nova Scotia; a sea-boy, with a dash of salt-water in his ruddy cheeks, who
had modestly refrained from taking part in the dispute.

"Come, now," said he to Malcolm, "pull away, and let us get the gentlemen
up to the camp," and he knit his boy brow with determination, as if he
meant to have it settled according to contract.

"Yes," said Picton, nodding at the boy, "and if he don't"----

"I'm pullin' an't I?" quoth the descendant of King Duncan, a little
frightened, and suiting the action to the word; "I'm a-pewlin," and here
his oar missed the water, and over he tumbled with a great splash in the
bottom of the boat. "I'm a-pewlin," he whined, as he regained his seat and
the oar, "and all I want is to hae my honest airnins."

"Then pull away," said Picton, as he resumed his seat in the stern-sheets.

"Ay," quoth the Scotchman, "I know the Micmacs weel, and thae squaws too;
deil a one o' 'em but knows Malcolm"----

"Pull away," said the boy.

"They are guid-lookin', thae squaws, and I'm a bachelter; and I tell ye
when I tak ye tull em--for I know the hail o' em--if ye are gentlemen,
ye'll pay me my honest airnins."

"And I tell you," answered Picton, his fist clenched, his eye flashing
again, and his indignant nostrils expressing a degree of anger language
could not express; "I tell you, if you do not carry us to the Micmac camp
without further words, I'll pay you your honest earnings before you get
there: I'll punch that Scotch head of yours till it looks like a
photograph!"



CHAPTER IX.

The Micmac Camp--Indian Church-warden and Broker--Interior of a Wigwam--A
Madonna--A Digression--Malcolm discharged--An Indian Bargain--The Inn
Parlor, and a Comfortable Night's Rest.


The threat had its effect: in a few minutes our boat ran bows-on up the
clear pebbled beach before the Micmac camp.

It was a little cluster of birch-bark wigwams, pitched upon a carpet of
greensward, just at the edge of one of the loveliest harbors in the world.
The fog rolled away like the whiff of vapor from a pipe, and melted out of
sight. Before us were the blue and violet waters, tinged with the hues of
sunset, the rounded, swelling, curving shores opposite, dotted with
cottages; the long, sweeping, creamy beaches, the distant shipping, and,
beyond, the great waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Nearer at hand were
"the murmuring pines and the hemlocks," the tender green light seen in
vistas of firs and spruces, the thin smoke curling up from the wigwams,
the birch-bark canoes, the black, bright eyes of the children, the sallow
faces of the men, and the pretty squaws, arrayed in blue broad-cloth
frocks and leggings, and modesty, and moccasins.

"Now, here we are," said Malcolm, triumphantly, "and wha d'ye thenk o' the
Micmacs? Deil a wan o' the yellow deevils but knows Malcolm, an I'll
introjewce ye to the hail o' em."

"Stop, sir," said Picton, sternly, "we want none of your company. You can
take your boat back," (here I nodded affirmatively), "and we'll walk
home."

It was quite a picture, that of our oarsman, upon this summons to depart.
He had just laid his hand upon the shoulder of a fat, good-natured looking
squaw, to commence the introjewcing; one foot rested on the bottom of an
overturned canoe, in an attitude of command; his old battered tarpaulin
hat, his Guernsey shirt, and salt-mackerel trowsers, finely relieved
against the violet-tinted water; but oh! how chop-fallen were those rugged
features under that old tarpaulin!

The scene had its effect; I am sure Picton and myself would gladly have
paid the quadruple sum on the spot--after all, it was but a trifle--for we
both drew forth a sovereign at the same moment.

Unfortunately Malcolm had no change; not a "bawbee." "Then," said we, "go
back to the inn, and we'll pay you on our return."

"And," said Malcolm, in an unearthly whine that might have been heard all
over the camp, "d' ye get me here to take advantage o' me, and no pay me
my honest airnins?"

"What the devil to do with this fellow, short, of giving him a drubbing, I
do not know," said Picton. "Here, you, give us change for a sovereign, or
take yourself off and wait at the hotel till we get back again."

"I canna change a sovereign, I tell ye"----

"Then be off with you, and wait."

"Wad ye send me away without my honest airnins?" he uttered, with a whine
like the bleat of a bagpipe.

Picton drew a little closer to Malcolm, with one fist carefully doubled up
and put in ambush behind his back. But the boy interposed--"Perhaps the
Micmac chief could change the sovereign."

"Oh! ay," quoth Malcolm, who had given an uneasy look at Picton as he
stepped towards him; "Oh! ay; I'se tak ye tull 'im;" and without further
ado he stepped off briskly towards the centre of the camp, and we followed
in his wake. When our file-leader reached the wigwam of the chief, he
went down on hands and knees, lifted up a little curtain or blanket in
front of the low door of the tent, crawled in head first, and we followed
close upon his heels.

As soon as the eye became accustomed to the dim and uncertain light of the
interior, we began to examine the curious and simple architecture of this
human bee-hive. A circle of poles, say about ten feet in diameter at the
base, and tied together to an apex at the top, covered with the thin bark
of the birch-tree, except a space above to let out the smoke, was all the
protection these people had against the elements in summer or winter. The
floor, of course, was the primitive soil of Cape Breton; in the centre of
the tent a few sticks were smouldering away over a little pile of ashes:
the thin smoke lifted itself up in folds of blue vapor until it stole
forth into the evening air from the opening in the roof. Through this
aperture the light--the only light of the tent--fell down upon the group
below: the old chief with his great silver cross, and medal, and
snow-white hair; the young and beautiful squaw with her pappoose at the
breast, like a Madonna by Murillo; Malcolm's battered tarpaulin and
Guernsey shirt; and the two unpicturesque objects of the party--Picton and
myself. Around the central fire a broad, green border of fragrant hemlock
twigs, extending to the skirts of the tent, was raised a few inches from
the ground. Upon this couch we sat, and opened our business with the aged
sagamore.

Old Indian was very courteous; he drew forth a bag of clinking dollars,
for strange as it may seem, he was a churchwarden: the Micmacs being all
Catholics, the chief holds the silver keys of St. Peter. But venerable and
pious as he appeared, with his silver cross and silver hair, the old
fellow was something too of a broker! He demanded a fair rate of
commission--eight per cent. premium on every dollar! Even this would not
answer our purpose; it was as difficult to make change with the old
churchwarden as with Malcolm: there was no money in the camp except hard
silver dollars.

No change for a sovereign!

So we went forth from the wigwam again on all fours, and it was only by
another promise of a sound drubbing that Malcolm was finally persuaded to
drop off and leave us.

Aboriginal certainly is the camp of the Micmacs. The birch-bark wigwams;
the canoes that lined the beach; the paddles, the utensils; the bows and
arrows; the parti-colored baskets, are independent of, are earlier than
our arts and manufactures. So far as these people are concerned, the
colonial government has been mild and considerate. Although there are
game-laws in the Province, yet Micmac has a privilege no white man can
possess. At all seasons he may hunt or fish; he may stick his _aishkun_ in
the salmon as it runneth up the rivers to spawn, and shoot the partridge
on its nest, if he please, without fine and imprisonment. Some may think
it better to preserve the game than to preserve the Indian; but some think
otherwise. For my part, when the question is between the man and the
salmon, I am content to forego fish.

As we walked through the Micmac camp we met our semi-civilized friend with
the lozenge eyes, and I made a contract with him for a brief voyage on le
Bras d'Or. But alas! Indian will sometimes take a lesson from his white
comrades! Micmac's charge at first was one pound for a trip of twenty-four
miles on the "Arm of Gold;" cheap enough. But before we left the camp it
was two pounds. That I agreed to pay. Then there was a portage of three
miles, over which the canoe had to be carried. "Well?" "And it would take
two men to paddle." "Well?" "And then the canoe had to be paddled back."
"Well?" "And then carried over the portage again." "Well?" "And so it
would be four pounds!" Here the negotiations were broken off; how much
more it would cost I did not ascertain. The rate of progression was too
rapid for further inquiry.

So we walked home again amid the fragrant resinous trees, until we gained
the high road, and so by pretty cottages, and lawns, and picket fences;
sometimes meeting groups of wandering damsels with their young and happy
lovers; sometimes twos and threes of horse-women, in habits, hats, and
feathers; now catching a glimpse of the broad, blue harbor; now looking
down a green lane, bordered with turf and copse; until we reached our
comfortable quarters at Mrs. Hearn's, where the pretty chambermaid, with
drooping eyes, welcomed us in a voice whose music was sweeter than the
tea-bell she held in her hand. And here, too, we found Malcolm, waiting
for his pay, partially sober and quiet as a lamb.

I trust the reader will not find fault with the writer for dwelling upon
these minute particulars. In this itinerary of the trip to the Acadian
land, I have endeavored to portray, as faithfully as may be, the salient
features of the country, and particularly those contrasts visible in the
settlements; the jealous preservation of those dear, old, splendid
prejudices, that separate tribe from tribe, clan from clan, sect from
sect, race from race. I wish the reader to see and know the country as it
is, not for the purpose of arousing his prejudices against a neighboring
people, but rather with the intent of showing to what result these
prejudices tend, in order that he may correct his own. A mere aggregation
of tribes is not a great people. Take the human species in a state of
sectionalism, and it does not make much difference whether it is in the
shape of the Indian, proud of the blue and red stripes on his face, or the
Scotchman, proud of the blue and red stripes on his plaid, the inferiority
of the human animal, with his tribal sheep-mark on him, is evident enough
to any person of enlarged understanding. Therefore I have been minute and
faithful in describing the species McGibbet and Malcolm, and in
contrasting them with the hardy fisherman of Louisburgh, the Micmacs of
Sydney, the negroes of Deer's Castle, the Acadians of Chizzetcook, and as
we shall see anon with other sectional specimens, just as they present
their kaleidoscopic hues in the local settlements of this colony.

It is just a year since I was seated in that cosy inn-parlor at Sydney, and
how strangely it all comes back again: the little window overlooking the
harbor, the lights on the twinkling waters; the old-fashioned house-clock
in the corner of the room; the bright brass andirons; the cut paper
chimney-apron; the old sofa; the cheerful lamp, and the well-polished
table. And I remember, too, the happy, tranquil feeling of lying in the
snow-white sheets at night, and talking with Picton of our overland journey
from Louisburgh; of McGibbet and Malcolm; and then we branched out on the
great subject of Indian rights, and Indian wrongs; of squaws and pappooses;
of wigwams and canoes, until at last I dropped off in a doze, and heard
only a repetition of Micmac--Micmac--Micmac--Mic--Mac----Mic------Mac! To
this day I am unable to say whether the sound I heard came from Picton, or
the great house-clock in the corner.



CHAPTER X.

Over the Bay--A Gigantic Dumb Waiter--Erebus--Reflections--White and Black
Squares of the Chess-board--Leave-taking--An Interruption--The Aibstract
Preencipels of Feenance.


Bright and early next morning we arose for an expedition across the bay to
North Sydney and the coal-mines. A fresh breakfast in a sunny room, a
brisk walk to the breezy, grass-grown parapet, that defends the harbor; a
thought of the first expedition to lay down the telegraph line between the
old and new hemispheres, for here lie the coils of the sub-marine cable,
as they were left after the stormy essay of the steamer "James Adger," a
year before--what a theme for a poet!

    "Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
    Some spark, now dormant, of electric fire:
    News, that the board of brokers might have swayed,
    Or broke the banks that trembled with the wire."

--and we take an airy seat on the poop-deck of the little English steamer,
and are wafted across the harbor, five miles, to a small sea-port, where
coal-schutes and railways run out over the wharfs, and coasters, both
fore-and-aft, and square-rigged, are gathered in profusion. A glass of
English ale at a right salt-sea tavern, a bay horse, and two-wheeled
"jumper" for the road, and away we roll towards the mines. Now up hill and
down; now passing another Micmac camp on the green margin of the beach;
now by trim gardens without flowers; now getting nearer to the mines,
which we know by the increasing blackness of the road; until at last we
bowl past rows of one story dingy tenements of brick, with miners' wives
and children clustered about them like funereal flowers; until we see the
forges and jets of steam, and davits uplifted in the air; and hear the
rattle of the iron trucks and the rush of the coal as it runs through the
schutes into the rail-cars on the road beneath. We tie our pony beside a
cinder-heap, and mount a ladder to the level of the huge platform above
the shaft. A constant supply of small hand-cars come up with demoniac
groans and shrieks from the bowels of the earth through the shaft. These
are instantly seized by the laborers and run over an iron floor to the
schute, where they are caught in titantic trammels, and overturned into
harsh thunder. Meanwhile the demon car-bringer has sunk again on its
errand; the suspending rope wheeling down with dizzy swiftness. As one
car-bearer descends, another rises to the surface with its twin
wheel-vessels of coal.

"Would you like to go down?"

"How far down?"

"Sixty fathoms."

Three hundred and sixty feet! Think of being suspended by a thread, from a
height twice that of Trinity's spire, and whirled into such a depth by
steam! We crawled into the little iron box, just large enough to allow us
to sit up with our heads against the top, both ends of our parachute being
open; the operator presses down a bar, and instantly the earth and sky
disappear, and we are wrapt in utter darkness. Oh? how sickening is this
sinking feeling! Down--down--down! What a gigantic dumb-waiter! Down,
down, a hot gust of vapor--a stifling sensation--a concussion upon the
iron floor at the foot of the shaft; a multitude of twinkling lamps, of
fiends, of grimy faces, and no bodies--and we are in a coal-mine.

There was a black, bituminous seat for visitors, sculptured out of the
coal, just beyond the shaft, and to this we were led by the carboniferous
fiends. My heart beat violently. I do not know how it went with Picton,
but we were both silent. Oh! for a glimpse of the blue sky and waving
trees above us, and a long breath of fresh air!

As soon as the stifling sensation passed away, we breathed more freely,
and the lungs became accustomed to the subterranean atmosphere. In the
gloom, we could see the smutted features only, of miners moving about, and
to heighten the Dantesque reality, new and strange sounds, from different
parts of the enormous cavern, came pouring towards the common centre--the
shaft of the coal-pit.

These were the laden cars on the tram-ways, drawn by invisible horses,
from the distant works in the mine, rolling and reverberating through the
infernal aisles of this devil's cathedral. One could scarcely help
recalling the old grandfather of Maud's Lord-lover:

                    ----"lately died,
    Gone to a _blacker pit_, for whom
    Grimy nakedness, dragging his trucks
    And laying his trams, _in a poisoned gloom_
    Wrought, till he crept from a gutted mine
    Master of half a servile shire,
    And left his coal all turned into gold
    To a grandson, first of his noble line."

Intermingled with these sounds were others, the jar and clash of gateways,
the dripping and splashing of water, the rolling thunder of the ascending
and descending iron parachutes in the shaft, the trampling of horses, the
distant report of powder-blasts, and the shrill jargon of human speakers,
near, yet only partially visible.

"Is it a clear day overhead?" said the black bust of one of the miners,
with a lamp in its _hat_!

Just think of it! We had only been divorced from the aërial blue of a June
sky a minute before. Our very horse was so high above us that we could
have distinguished him only by the aid of a telescope--that is, if the
solid ribs of the globe were not between us and him.

As soon as we became accustomed to the place, we moved off after the
foreman of the mine. We walked through the miry tram-ways under the low,
black arches, now stepping aside to let an invisible horse and car,
"grating harsh thunder," pass us in the murky darkness; now through a
door-way, momently closed to keep the foul and clear airs separate, until
we came to the great furnace of the mine that draws off all the noxious
vapors from this nest of Beelzebub. Then we went to the stables where
countless horses are stalled--horses that never see the light of day
again, or if they do, are struck blind by the apparition; now in wider
galleries, and new explorations, where we behold the busy miners,
twinkling like the distant lights of a city, and hear the thunder-burst,
as the blast explodes in the murky chasms. At last, tired, oppressed, and
sickened with the vast and horrible prison, for such it seems, we retrace
our steps, and once more enter the iron parachute. A touch of the magic
lever, and again we fly away; but now upwards, upwards to the glorious
blue sky and air of mother earth. A miner with his lamp accompanies us. By
its dim light we see how rapidly we spin through the shaft. Our car
clashes again at the top, and as we step forth into the clear sunshine, we
thank GOD for such a bright and beautiful world up stairs!

"Do you know," said I, "Picton, what we would do if we had such a devil's
pit as that in the States?"

"Well?" answered the traveller, interrogatively.

"We would make niggers work it."

"I dare say," replied Picton, drily and satirically; "but, sir, I am proud
to say that our government does not tolerate barbarity; to consign an
inoffensive fellow-creature to such horrible labor, merely because he is
black, is at variance with the well-known humanity of the whole British
nation, sir."

"But those miners, Picton, were black as the devil himself."

"The miners," replied Picton, with impressive gravity, "are black, but not
negroes."

"Nothing but mere white people, Picton?"

"Eh?" said the traveller.

"Only white people, and therefore we need not waste one grain of sympathy
over a whole pit full of them."

"Why not?"

"Because they are not niggers, what is the use of wasting sympathy upon a
rat-hole full of white British subjects?"

"I tell you what it is," said Picton, "you are getting personal."

We were now rolling past the dingy tenements again. Squalid-looking,
care-worn women, grimy children:

    "To me there's something touching, I confess,
    In the grave look of early thoughtfulness,
    Seen often in some little childish face,
    Among the poor;"--

But these children's faces are not such. A child's face--God bless it!
should always have a little sunshine in its glance; but these are mere
staring faces, without expression, that make you shudder and feel sad.
Miners by birth; human moles fitted to burrow in darkness for a life-time.
Is it worth living for? No wonder those swart laborers underground are so
grim and taciturn: no wonder there was not a face lighted up by those
smoky lamps in the pit, that had one line of human sympathy left in its
rigidly engraved features!

But we must have coal, and we must have cotton. The whole plantations of
the South barely supply the press with paper; and the messenger of
intelligence, the steam-ship, but for coal could not perform its glorious
mission. What is to be done, Picton? If every man is willing to give up
his morning paper, wear a linen shirt, cross the ocean in a clipper-ship,
and burn wood in an open fire-place, something might be done.

As Picton's steamer (probably fog-bound) had not yet arrived in Sydney,
nor yet indeed the "Balaklava," the traveller determined to take a
Newfoundland brigantine for St. John's, from which port there are vessels
to all parts of the world. After leaving horse and jumper with the
inn-keeper, we took a small boat to one of the many queer looking,
high-pooped crafts in the harbor, and very soon found ourselves in a tiny
cabin, panelled with maple, in which the captain and some of the men were
busy over a pan of savory _lobscouse_, a salt-sea dish of great
reputation and flavor. Picton soon made his agreement with the captain for
a four days' sail (or more) across to the neighboring province, and his
luggage was to be on board the next morning. Once more we sailed over the
bay of Sydney, and regained the pleasant shelter of our inn.

"Picton," said I, after a comfortable supper and a pensive segar, "we
shall soon separate for our respective homes; but before we part, I wish
to say to you how much I have enjoyed this brief acquaintance; perhaps we
may never meet again, but I trust our short voyage together, will now and
then be recalled by you, in whatever part of the world you may chance to
be, as it certainly will by me."

The traveller replied by a hearty, earnest grasp of the hand; and then,
after this formal leave-taking, we became suddenly estranged, as it were,
sad, and silent, and shy; the familiar tone of conversation lost its
key-note; Picton looked out of the inn window at the luminous moon-fog on
the bay, and I buried my reflections in an antiquated pamphlet of
"Household Words." We were soon interrupted by a stranger coming into the
parlor, a chance visitor, another dry, preceese specimen of the land of
oat-cakes.

After the usual salutations, the conversation floated easily on, upon
indifferent topics, until Picton happened to allude, casually, to the
general banking system of England. This was enough for a text. Our visitor
immediately launched forth upon the subject, and gaed us a twa-hours
discourse on the system of banking in Scotland; wherein the superiority of
the method adopted by his countrymen, to wring the last drop of interest
out a shilling, was pertinaciously and dogmatically argued, upon the great
groundwork of "the general and aibstract preencepels of feenance!"

It was in vain that the traveller endeavored to silence him by a few
flashes of sarcasm. He might as well have tried to silence a park of
artillery with a handful of torpedoes! On and on, with the doggedness of a
slow-hound, the Scot pursued the theme, until all other considerations
were lost in the one sole idea.

But thus it is always, when you come in contact with people of "aibstract
preencepels." All sweet and tender impulses, all generous and noble
suggestions, all light and shade, all warmth and color, must give place to
these dry husks of reason.

"Confound the Scotch interloper," said Picton, after our visitor had
retired, "what business had he to impose upon our good nature, with his
threadbare 'aibstract preencepels?' Confound him and his beggarly high
cheek-bones, and his Caledonian pock-pits. I am sorry that I ever came to
this part of the world; it has ruined a taste which I had acquired, with
much labor, for Scottish poetry; and I shall never see 'Burns's Works'
again without a sickening shudder."



CHAPTER XI.

The Bras d'Or Road--Farewell to Picton--Home sweet Home--The Rob Roys of
Cape Breton--Note and Query--Chapel Island--St. Peter's--Enterprise--The
Strait of Canseau--West River--The last Out-post of the Scottish Chiefs.


The road that skirts the Arm of Gold is about one hundred miles in length.
After leaving Sydney, you ride beside the Spanish River a short distance,
until you come to the portage, which separates it from the lake, and then
you follow the delicious curve of the great beach until you arrive at St.
Peter's. From St. Peter's you travel across a narrow strip of land until
you reach the shore upon the extreme westerly end of the island of Cape
Breton, where you cross the Strait of Canseau, and then you are upon the
mainland of Nova Scotia. I had fondly hoped to voyage upon the Bras d'Or,
instead of beside it; but was obliged to forego that pleasure. Romance, at
one dollar per mile, is a dear piece of extravagance, even in so ethereal
a vehicle as a birch-bark canoe. Therefore I engaged a seat in the Cape
Breton stage, instead of the aboriginal conveyance, in which you have to
sit or lie in the bottom, at the risk of an upset, and trust to fair
weather and the dip of the paddle.

At day-break (two o'clock in the morning in these high latitudes) the
stage drove up to the door of our pleasant inn. I was speedily dressed,
and ready--and now--"Good bye, Picton!"

The traveller stretched out a hand from the warm nest in which he was
buried.

"Good bye," he said, with a hearty hand-shake, and so we parted.

It was painful to leave such an agreeable companion, but then what a
relief it was to escape from the cannie Scots! The first inhalation of the
foggy air went tingling through every vein; the first movement of the
stage, as we rolled westward, was indescribable happiness; I was at last
homeward bound; in full health, in full strength; swift upon my sight came
the vision of the one familiar river; the cottage and the chestnuts; the
rolling greensward, and the Palisades; and there, too, was my _best_
friend; and there--

    "My young barbarians all at play."

Drive on, John Ormond!

Our Cape Breton stage is an easy, two-seated vehicle; a quiet, little
rockaway-wagon, with a top; and although H. B. M. Royal Mail Coach,
entirely different from the huge musk-melon upon wheels with which we are
familiar in the States. In it I am the only passenger. Thank Heaven for
that! I might be riding beside an aibstract preencepel.

But never mind! Drive on, John Ormond; we shall soon be among another race
of Scotsmen, the bold Highlandmen of romance; the McGregors, and
McPhersons, the Camerons, Grahams, and McDonalds; and as a century or so
does not alter the old-country prejudices of the people in these
settlements, we will no doubt find them in their pristine habiliments; in
plaids and spleuchens; brogues and buckles; hose and bonnets; with
claymore, dirk, and target; the white cockade and eagle feather, so
beautiful in the Waverley Novels.

We left the pretty village of Sydney behind us, and were not long in
gaining the margin of the Bras d'Or. This great lake, or rather arm of the
sea, is, as I have said, about one hundred miles in length by its shore
road; but so wide is it, and so indented by broad bays and deep coves,
that a coasting journey around it is equal in extent to a voyage across
the Atlantic. Besides the distant mountains that rise proudly from the
remote shores, there are many noble islands in its expanse, and
forest-covered peninsulas, bordered with beaches of glittering white
pebbles. But over all this wide landscape there broods a spirit of
primeval solitude; not a sail broke the loneliness of the lake until we
had advanced far upon our day's journey. For strange as it may seem, the
Golden Arm is a very useless piece of water in this part of the world;
highly favored as it is by nature, land-locked, deep enough for vessels of
all burden, easy of access on the gulf side, free from fogs, and only
separated from the ocean at its western end by a narrow strip of land,
about three quarters of a mile wide; abounding in timber, coal, and
gypsum, and valuable for its fisheries, especially in winter, yet the Bras
d'Or is undeveloped for want of that element which scorns to be alien to
the Colonies, namely, _enterprise_.

If I had formed some romantic ideas concerning the new and strange people
we found on the road we were now travelling, the Highlandmen, the Rob Roys
and Vich Ian Vohrs of Nova Scotia, those ideas were soon dissipated. It is
true here were the Celts in their wild settlements, but without bagpipes
or pistols, sporrans or philabegs; there was not even a solitary thistle
to charm the eye; and as for oats, there were at least two Scotchmen to
one oat in this garden of exotics. I have a reasonable amount of respect
for a Highlandman in full costume; but for a carrot-headed, freckled,
high-cheeked animal, in a round hat and breeches, that cannot utter a word
of English, I have no sympathy. One fellow of this complexion, without a
hat, trotted beside our coach for several miles, grunting forth his
infernal Gaelic to John Ormond, with a hah! to every answer of the driver,
that was really painful. When he disappeared in the woods his red head
went out like a torch. But we had scarcely gone by the first Highlandman,
when another darted out upon us from a by-path, and again broke the
sabbath of the woods and waters; and then another followed, so that the
morning ride by the Bras d'Or was fringed with Gaelic. Now I have heard
many languages in my time, and know how to appreciate the luxurious Greek,
the stately Latin, the mellifluous Chinese, the epithetical Sclavic, the
soft Italian, the rich Castilian, the sprightly French, sonorous German,
and good old English, but candor compels me to say, that I do not think
much of the Gaelic. It is not pleasing to the ear.

Yet it was a stately ride, that by the Bras d'Or; in one's own coach, as
it were, traversing such old historic ground. For the very name, and its
associations, carry one back to the earliest discoveries in America, carry
one back behind Plymouth Rock to the earlier French adventurers in this
hemisphere; yea, almost to the times of Richard Crookback; for on the
neighboring shores, as the English claim, Cabot first landed, and named
the place _Prima Vista_, in the days of Henry the Seventh, the "Richmond"
of history and tragedy.

"Le Bras d'Or! John Ormond, do you not think le Bras d'Or sounds much like
Labrador?"

"'Deed does it," answered John.

"And why not? That mysterious, geological coast is only four days' sail
from Sydney, I take it? Labrador! with its auks and puffins, its seals and
sea-tigers, its whales and walruses? Why not an offshoot of le Bras d'Or,
its earlier brother in the family of discovery. But drive on, John Ormond,
we will leave etymology to the pedants."

Well, well, ancient or modern, there is not a lovelier ride by
white-pebbled beach and wide stretch of wave. Now we roll along amidst
primeval trees, not the evergreens of the sea-coast, but familiar growths
of maple, beech, birch; and larches, juniper or hackmatack--imperishable
for ship craft. Now we cross bridges, over sparkling brooks, alive with
trout and salmon, and most surprising of all, pregnant with _water-power_.
"Surprising," because no motive-power can be presented to the eye of a
citizen of the young republic without the corresponding thought of "Why
not use it?" And why not, when Bras d'Or is so near, or the sea-coast
either, and land at forty cents an acre, and trees as closely set, and as
lofty, as ever nature planted them? Of a certainty, there would be a
thousand saw-mills screaming between this and Canseau if a drop of Yankee
blood had ever fertilized this soil.

Well, well, perhaps it is well. But yet to ride through a hundred miles of
denationalized, high-cheeked, red, or black-headed Highlandmen, with
illustrious names, in breeches and round hats, without pistols or
feathers, is a sorry sight. Not one of these McGregors can earn more than
five shillings a day, currency, as a laborer. Not a digger upon our canals
but can do better than that; and with the chance of _rising_. But here
there seems be no such opportunity. The colonial system provides that
every settler shall have a grant of about one hundred and twenty acres, in
fee, and free. What then? the Government fosters and protects him. It
sends out annually choice stocks of cattle, at a nominal price; it
establishes a tariff of duties on foreign goods, so low that the revenue
derived therefrom is not sufficient to pay the salaries of its officers.
What then? The colonist is only a parasite with all these advantages. He
is not an integral part of a nation; a citizen, responsible for his
franchise. He is but a colonial Micmac, or Scotch-Mac; a mere
sub-thoughted, irresponsible exotic, in a governmental cold grapery. By
the great forefinger of Tom Jefferson, I would rather be a citizen of the
United States than _own_ all the five-shilling Blue Noses between Sydney
and Canseau!

As we roll along up hill and down, a startling flash of sunlight bursts
forth from the dewy morning clouds, and touches lake, island, and
promontory, with inexpressible beauty. Stop, John Ormond, or drive slowly;
let us enjoy _dolce far niente_. To hang now in our curricle upon this
wooded hill-top, overlooking the clear surface of the lake, with leafy
island, and peninsula dotted in its depths, in all its native grace,
without a touch or trace of hand-work, far or near, save and except a
single spot of sail in the far-off, is holy and sublime.

And there we rested, reverentially impressed with the week-day sabbath. We
lingered long and lovingly upon our woody promontory, our eyrie among the
spruces of Cape Breton.

    "Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
    With the wild world I dwelt in, is a thing
    Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
    Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring."

Down hill go horses and mail-coach, and we are lost in a vast avenue of
twinkling birches. For miles we ride within breast-high hedges of sunny
shrubs, until we reach another promontory, where Bras d'Or again breaks
forth, with bay, island, white beach, peninsula, and sparkling cove. And
before us, bowered in trees, lies Chapel Island, the Micmac Mecca, with
its Catholic Church and consecrated ground. Here at certain seasons the
red men come to worship the white CHRIST. Here the western descendants of
Ishmael pitch their bark tents, and swing their barbaric censers before
the Asiatic-born REDEEMER. "They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow
before HIM." That gathering must be a touching sermon to the heart of
faith!

But we roll onwards, and now are again on the clearings, among the
log-cabins of the Highlandmen. Although every settler has his governmental
farm, yet nearly the whole of it is still in forest-land. A log hut and
cleared-acre lot, with Flora McIvor's grubbing, hoeing, or chopping, while
their idle lords and masters trot beside the mail-coach to hear the news,
are the only results of the home patronage. At last we come to a gentle
declivity, a bridge lies below us, a wider brook; we cross over to find a
cosy inn and a rosy landlord on the other side; and John Ormond lays down
the ribbons, after a sixty-mile drive, to say: "This is St. Peter's."

Now so far us the old-fashioned inns of New Scotland are concerned, I
must say they make me ashamed of our own. Soap, sand, and water, do not
cost so much as carpets, curtains, and fly-blown mirrors; but still, to
the jaded traveller, they have a more attractive aspect. We sit before a
snow-white table without a cloth, in the inn-parlor, kitchen, laundry, and
dining-room, all in one, just over against the end of the lake; and enjoy
a rasher of bacon and eggs with as much gusto as if we were in the midst
of a palace of fresco. Ornamental eating has become with us a species of
gaudy, ostentatious vulgarity; and a dining-room a sort of fool's
paradise. I never think of the little simple meal at St. Peter's now,
without tenderness and respect.

Here we change--driver, stage, and horses. Still no other passenger. The
new whip is a Yankee from the State of Maine; a tall, black-eyed, taciturn
fellow, with gold rings in his ears. Now we pass the narrow strip of land
that divides Bras d'Or from the ocean. It is only three-quarters of a mile
wide between water and water, and look at Enterprise digging out a canal!
By the bronze statue of De Witt Clinton, if there are not three of the
five-shilling Rob Roys at work, with two shovels, a horse, and one cart!

As we approach Canseau the landscape becomes flat and uninteresting; but
distant ranges of mountains rise up against the evening sky, and as we
travel on towards their bases they attract the eye more and more.
Ear-rings is not very communicative. He does not know the names of any of
them. Does not know how high they are, but has heard say they are the
highest mountains in Nova Scotia. "Are those the mountains of Canseau?"
Yes, them's them. So with renewed anticipations we ride on towards the
strait "of unrivalled beauty," that travellers say "surpasses anything in
America."

And, indeed, Canseau can have my feeble testimony in confirmation. It is a
grand marine highway, having steep hills on the Cape Breton Island side,
and lofty mountains on the other shore; a full, broad, mile-wide space
between them; and reaching from end to end, fifteen miles, from the
Atlantic to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. As I took leave of Ear-rings, at
Plaister Cove, and wrapped myself up in my cloak in the stern-sheets of
the row-boat to cross the strait, the full Acadian moon, larger than any
United States moon, rose out of her sea-fog, and touched mountain, height,
and billow, with effulgence. It was a scene of Miltonic grandeur. After
the ruined walls of Louisburgh, and the dark caverns of Sydney, comes
Canseau, with its startling splendors! Truly this is a wonderful country.

Another night in a clean Nova-Scotian inn on the mountain-side, a deep
sleep, and balmy awakening in the clear air. Yet some exceptions must be
taken to the early sun in this latitude. To get up at two o'clock or four;
to ride thirty or forty miles to breakfast, with a convalescent appetite,
is painful. But yet, "to him, who in the love of Nature holds communion
with her visible forms, she speaks a various language." Admiration and
convalescent hunger make a very good team in this beautiful country. You
look out upon the unfathomable Gulf of St. Lawrence, and feel as if you
were an unfathomable gulf yourself. You ride through lofty woods, with a
tantalizing profusion of living edibles in your path; at every moment a
cock-rabbit is saying his prayers before the horses; at every bosk and
bole a squirrel stares at you with unwinking eyes, and Robin Yellow-bill
hops, runs, and flies before the coach within reach of the driver's whip,
_sans peur_! And this too is the land of moose and cariboo: here the
hunters, on snow-shoes, track the huge animals in the season; and moose
and cariboo, in the Halifax markets, are cheaper than beef with us. And to
think this place is only a four days' journey from the metropolis, in the
languid winter! By the ashes of Nimrod, I will launch myself on a pair of
snow-shoes, and shoot a moose in the snow before I am twelve months
older, as sure as these ponies carry us to breakfast!

"How far are we from breakfast, driver?"

"Twenty miles," quoth Jehu.

Now I had been anxious to get a sight of our ponies, for the sake of
estimating their speed and endurance; but at this time they were not in
sight. For the coach we (three passengers) were in, was built like an
omnibus-sleigh on wheels, with a high seat and "dasher" in front, so that
we could not see what it was that drew our ark, and therefore I climbed up
in the driver's perch to overlook our motors. There were four of them;
little, shaggy, black ponies, with bunchy manes and fetlocks, not much
larger than Newfoundland dogs. Yet they swept us along the road as rapidly
as if they were full-sized horses, up hill and down, without visible signs
of fatigue. And now we passed through another French settlement,
"Tracadie," and again the Norman kirtle and petticoat of the pastoral,
black-eyed Evangelines hove in sight, and passed like a day-dream. And
here we are in an English settlement, where we enjoy a substantial
breakfast, and then again ride through the primeval woods, with an
occasional glimpse of the broad Gulf and its mountain scenery, until we
come upon a pretty inland village, by name Antigonish.

At Antigonish, we find a bridal party, and the pretty English landlady
offers us wine and cake with hospitable welcome; and a jovial time of it
we have until we are summoned, by crack of whip, to ride over to West
River.

I must say that the natural prejudices we have against Nova Scotia are
ill-placed, unjust, and groundless. The country itself is the great
redeeming feature of the province, and a very large portion of it is
uninfested by Scotchmen. Take for instance the road we are now travelling.
For hours we bowl along a smooth turnpike, in the midst of a deep forest:
although scarce a week has elapsed since these gigantic trees were
leafless, yet the foliage has sprung forth as it were with a touch, and
now the canopy of leaves about us, and overhead, is so dense as scarcely
to afford a twinkle of light from the sun. Sometimes we ride by startling
precipices and winding streams; sometimes overlook an English settlement,
with its rolling pasture-lands, bare of trees and rich in verdure. At last
we approach the precincts of Northumberland Strait, and are cleverly
carried into New Glasgow. It is fast-day, and the shops are closed in
Sabbath stillness; but on the sign-boards of the village one reads the
historic names of "Ross" and "Cameron;" and "Graham," "McGregor" and
"McDonald." What a pleasant thing it must be to live in that village!
Here too I saw for the first time in the province a thistle! But it was a
silver-plated one, in the blue bonnet of a "pothecary's boy." A metallic
effigy of the ORIGINAL PLANT, that had bloomed some generations ago in
native land. There was poetry in it, however, even on the brow of an
incipient apothecary.

When we had put New Glasgow behind us, we felt relieved, and rode along
the marshes on the border of the strait that divides the Province from
Prince Edward's Island, so named in honor of his graceless highness the
Duke of Kent, Edward, father of our Queen Victoria. Thence we came forth
upon higher ground, the coal-mines of Pictou; and here is the great Pictou
railway, from the mines to the town, six miles in length. Then by rolling
hill and dale down to West River, where John Frazer keeps the Twelve-Mile
House. This inn is clean and commodious; only twelve miles from Pictou;
and, reader, I would advise you, as twelve miles is but a short distance,
to go to Pictou without stopping at West River. For John Frazer's is a
house of petty annoyances. From the moment you enter, you feel the
insolence of the surly, snarling landlord, and his no less gifted lady;
the same old greed which has no eye except for money; the miserly table,
for which you are obliged to pay before hand; the lack of attendance; the
abundance of impertinence. Just as you are getting into bed you are
peremptorily called to the door to pay for your room, which haply you had
forgotten; if you want your boots brushed the answer is, "Perhaps"--if you
request them to call you in the morning, for the only stage, they say,
"Just as it happens;" (indeed, it was only by accident that the
stage-driver discovered he had one more trunk than his complement of
passengers, and so awoke me just as the coach was on the point of
departure;) if you can submit to all this, then, reader, go to Twelve-Mile
House, at West River.

We left this last outpost of the Scotch settlements with pleasure. After
all, there is a secret feeling of joy in contrasting one's self with such
wretched, penurious, mis-made specimens of the human animal. And from this
time henceforth I shall learn to prize my own language, and not be carried
away by any catch-penny Scotch synonyms, such as the _lift_ for the sky,
and the _gloamin_ for twilight. And as for _poortith cauld_, and _pauky
chiel_, I leave them to those who can appreciate them:

    "Farewell, farewell, beggarly Scotland,
      Cold and beggarly poor countrie;
    If ever I cross thy border again,
      The muckle deil maun carry me."



CHAPTER XII.

The Ride from West River--A Fellow Passenger--Parallels of History--One
Hundred Romances--Baron de Castine--His Character--Made Chief of the
Abenaquis--Duke of York's Charter--Encroachments of the Puritans--Church's
Indian Wars--False Reports--Reflections.


It would make a curious collection of pictures if I had obtained
photographs of all the coaches I travelled in, and upon, during my brief
sojourn in the province; some high, some low, some red, some green, or
yellow as it chanced, with horses few or many, often superior
animals--stylish, fast, and sound; and again, the most diminutive of
ponies, such as Monsieur the Clown drives into the ring of his canvass
coliseum when he utters the pleasant salute of "Here I am, with all my
little family?" This morning we have the old, familiar stage-coach of
Yankee land--red, picked out with yellow; high, narrow, iron steps; broad
thoroughbraces; wide seats; all jingle, tip, tilt, and rock, from one end
of the road to the other. My fellow traveller on the box is a little man
with a big hat; soft spoken, sweet voiced, and excessively shy and
modest. But this was a most pleasing change from the experiences of the
last few hours, let me tell you; and, if you ever travel by West River,
you will find any change pleasant--no matter what.

My companion was shy, but not taciturn; on the contrary, he could talk
well enough after the ice was broken, and long enough, too, for that
matter. I found that he was a Church of England clergyman by profession,
and a Welshman by birth. He was well versed in the earlier history of the
colony--that portion of it which is by far the most interesting--I mean
its French or Acadian period. "There are in the traditions and scattered
fragments of history that yet survive in this once unhappy land," he said,
in a peculiarly low and mellifluous voice, "much that deserves to be
embalmed in story and in poetry. Your Longfellow has already preserved one
of the most touching of its incidents; but I think I am safe in asserting
that there yet remain the materials of one hundred romances. Take the
whole history of Acadia during the seventeenth century--the almost
patriarchal simplicity of its society, the kindness, the innocence, the
virtues of its people; the universal toleration which prevailed among
them, in spite of the interference of the home government; look," said
he, "at the perfect and abiding faith which existed between them and the
Indians! Does the world-renowned story of William Penn alone merit our
encomiums, except that we have forgotten this earlier but not less
beautiful example? And with the true spirit of Christianity, when they
refused to take up arms in their own defence, preferring rather to die by
their faith than shed the blood of other men; to what parallel in history
can we turn, if not to the martyred Hussites, for whom humanity has not
yet dried all its tears?"

As he said this, a little flush passed over his face, and he appeared for
a moment as if surprised at his own enthusiasm; then shrinking under his
big hat again, he relapsed into silence.

We rode on for some time without a word on either side, until I ventured
to remark that I coincided with him in the belief that Acadia was the
romantic ground of early discovery in America; and that even the fluent
pen of Hawthorne had failed to lend a charm to the harsh, repulsive,
acrimonious features of New England's colonial history.

"I have read but one book of Hawthorne's," said he--"'The Scarlet Letter.'
I do not coincide with you; I think that to be a remarkable instance of
the triumph of genius over difficulties. By the way," said he, "speaking
of authors, what an exquisite poem Tom Moore would have written, had he
visited Chapel Island, which you have seen no doubt? (here he gave a
little nod with the big hat) and what a rich volume would have dropped
from the arabesque pen of your own Irving (another nod), had he written
the life of the Baron de St. Castine, chief of the Abenaquis, as he did
that of Philip of Pokanoket."

"Do you know the particulars of that history?" said I.

"I do not know the particulars," he replied, "only the outlines derived
from chronicle and tradition. Imagination," he added, with a faint smile,
"can supply the rest, just as an engineer pacing a bastion can draw from
it the proportions of the rest of the fortress."

And then, from under the shelter of the big hat, there came low and sad
tones of music, like a requiem over a bier, upon which are laid funeral
flowers, and sword, and plume; a melancholy voice almost intoning the
history of a Christian hero, who had been the chief of that powerful
nation--the rightful owners of the fair lands around us. Even if memory
could now supply the words, it would fail to reproduce the effect conveyed
by the tones of _that voice_. And of the story itself I can but furnish
the faint outlines:

                           FAINT OUTLINES.

Baron de St. Castine, chief of the Abenaquis, was a Frenchman, born in the
little village of Oberon, in the province of Bearn, about the middle of
the seventeenth century. Three great influences conspired to make him
unhappy--first, education, which at that time was held to be a reputable
part of the discipline of the scions of noble families; next, a delicate
and impressible mind, and lastly, he was born under the shadow of the
Pyrenees, and within sight of the Atlantic. He had also served in the wars
of Louis XIV. as colonel of the Carrignan, Cavignon, or Corignon regiment;
therefore, from his military education, was formed to endure, or to think
lightly of hardships. Although not by profession a Protestant, yet he was
a liberal Catholic. The doctrines of Calvin had been spread throughout the
province during his youth, and John la Placette, a native of Bearn, was
then one of the leaders of the free churches of Copenhagen, in Denmark,
and of Utrecht, in Holland.

But, whatever his religious prejudices may have been, they do not intrude
themselves in any part of his career; we know him only as a pure
Christian, an upright man, and a faithful friend of humanity. Like many
other Frenchmen of birth and education in those days, the Baron de St.
Castine had been attracted by descriptions of newly discovered countries
in the western hemisphere, and fascinated by the ideal life of the
children of nature. To a mind at once susceptible and heroic, impulsive by
temperament, and disciplined to endure, such promptings have a charm that
is irresistible. As the chronicler relates, he preferred the forests of
Acadia, to the Pyrenian mountains that compassed the place of his
nativity, and taking up his abode with the savages, on the first year
behaved himself so among them as to draw from them their inexpressible
esteem. He married a woman of the nation, and repudiating their example,
did not change his wife, by which he taught his wild neighbors that God
did not love inconstancy. By this woman, his first and only wife, he had
one son and two daughters, the latter were afterwards married, "very
handsomely, to Frenchmen, and had good dowries." Of the son there is
preserved a single touching incident. In person the baron was strikingly
handsome, a fine form, a well featured face, with a noble expression of
candor, firmness and benevolence. Possessed of an ample fortune, he used
it to enlarge the comforts of the people of his adoption; these making him
a recompense in beaver skins and other rich furs, from which he drew a
still larger revenue, to be in turn again devoted to the objects of his
benevolence. It was said of him, "that he can draw from his coffers two or
three hundred thousand crowns of good dry gold; but all the use he makes
of it is to buy presents for his _fellow savages_, who, upon their return
from hunting, present him with skins to treble the value."

Is it then surprising that this man, so wise, so good, so faithful to his
_fellow savages_, should, after twenty years, rise to the most eminent
station in that unsophisticated nation? That indeed these simple Indians,
who knew no arts except those of peace and war, should have looked up to
him as their tutular god? By the treaty of Breda, the lands from the
Penobscots to Nova Scotia had been ceded to France, in exchange for the
island of St. Christopher. Upon these lands the Baron de St. Castine had
peacefully resided for many years, until a new patent was granted to the
Duke of York, the boundaries of which extended beyond the limits of the
lands ceded by the treaty. Oh, those patents! those patents! What wrongs
were perpetrated by those remorseless instruments; what evil councils
prevailed when they were hatched; what corrupt, what base, what knavish
hands formed them; what vile, what ignoble, what ponderous lies has
history assumed to maintain, or to excuse them, and the acts committed
under them?

The first English aggression after the treaty, was but a trifling one in
respect to immediate effects. A quantity of wine having been landed by a
French vessel upon the lands covered by the patent, was seized by the Duke
of York's agents. This, upon a proper representation by the French
ambassador at the court of Charles II., was restored to the rightful
owners. But thereupon a new boundary line was run, _and the whole of
Castine's plantations included within it_. Immediately after this, the
Rose frigate, under the command of Captain Andross, sailed up the
Penobscot, plundered and destroyed Castine's house and fort, and sailed
away with all his arms and goods. Not only this, intruders from other
quarters invaded the lands of the Indians, took possession of the rivers,
and spoiled the fisheries with seines, turned their cattle in to devour
the standing corn of the Abenaquis, and committed other depredations,
which, although complained of, were neither inquired into nor redressed.

Then came reprisals; and first the savages retaliated by killing the
cattle of their enemies. Then followed those fearful and bloody campaigns,
which, under the name of Church's Indian Wars, disgrace the early annals
of New England. Night surprises, butcheries that spared neither age nor
sex, prisoners taken and sold abroad into slavery, after the glut of
revenge was satiated, these to return and bring with them an
inextinguishable hatred against the English, and desire of revenge. Anon a
conspiracy and the surprisal of Dover, accompanied with all the appalling
features of barbaric warfare--Major Waldron being tied down by the Indians
in his own arm-chair, and each one of them drawing a sharp knife across
his breast, says with the stroke, "Thus I cross out my account;" these,
and other atrocities, on either side, constitute the principal records of
a Christian people, who professed to be only pilgrims and sojourners in a
strange land--the victims of persecution in their own.

Daring all this dark and bloody period, no name is more conspicuous in the
annals than that of the Chief of the Abenaquis. Like a frightful ogre, he
hovers in the background, deadly and ubiquitous--the terror of the
colonies. It was he who had stirred up the Indians to do the work. Then
come reports of a massacre in some town on the frontier, and with it is
coupled a whisper of "Castine!" a fort has been surprised, he is there!
Some of Church's men have fallen in an ambuscade; the baron has planned
it, and furnished the arms and ammunition by which the deed was
consummated! Superstition invests him with imaginary powers; fanaticism
exclaims, 'tis he who had taught the savages to believe that we are the
people who crucified the Saviour.

But in spite of all these stories, the wonderful Bernese is not captured,
nor indeed seen by any, except that sometimes an English prisoner escaping
from the enemy, comes to tell of his clemency and tenderness; he has bound
up the wounds of these, he has saved the lives of those. At last a small
settlement of French and Indians is attacked by Church's men at Penobscot,
every person there being either killed or taken prisoner; among the latter
a daughter of the great baron, with her children, from whom they learn
that her unhappy father, ruined and broken-hearted, had returned to
France, the victim of persecutors, who, under the name of saints,
exhibited a cruelty and rapacity that would have disgraced the reputation
of a Philip or an Alva!

"It is a matter of surprise to the historical student," said the little
man, "that with a people like yours, so conspicuous in many rare examples
of erudition, that the history of Acadia has not merited a closer
attention, throwing as it does so strong a reflective light upon your
own. Such a task doubtless does not present many inviting features,
especially to those who would preserve, at any sacrifice of truth, the
earlier pages of discovery in America, pure, spotless, and unsullied. But
I think this dark, tragic background would set off all the brighter the
characters of those really good men who flourished in that period, of whom
there were no doubt many, although now obscured by the dull, dead
moonshine of indiscriminate forefathers' flattery. I know very well that
in some regards we might copy the example of a few of the first planters
of New England, but for the rest I believe with Adam Clark, that for the
sake of humanity, it were better that such ages should never return."

"We talk much," says he, "of ancient manners, their _simplicity and
ingenuousness_, and say that _the former days were better than these_. But
who says this who is a judge of the times? In those days of celebrated
simplicity, there were not so _many_ crimes as at present, I grant; but
what they wanted in _number_, they made up in _degree_; _deceit_,
_cruelty_, _rapine_, _murder_, and _wrong_ of almost every kind, then
flourished. _We_ are _refined_ in our vices, they were _gross_ and
_barbarous_ in theirs. They had neither so many _ways_ nor so many _means_
of sinning; but the _sum_ of their moral turpitude was greater than ours.
We have a sort of _decency_ and good _breeding_, which lay a certain
restraint on our passions; they were boorish and beastly, and their bad
passions ever in full play. Civilization prevents barbarity and atrocity;
mental cultivation induces decency of manners--those primitive times were
generally without these. Who that knows them would wish such ages to
return?"[A]

[A] Adam Clark's "Commentary on Book of Kings." II. Samuel, chap. iii.



CHAPTER XIII.

Truro--On the Road to Halifax--Drive to the Left--A Member of the Foreign
Legion--Irish Wit at Government Expense--The first Battle of the
Legion--Ten Pounds Reward--Sir John Gaspard's Revenge--The Shubenacadie
Lakes--Dartmouth Ferry, and the Hotel Waverley.


Pleasant Truro! At last we regain the territories of civility and
civilization! Here is the honest little English inn, with its cheerful
dining-room, its clean spread, its abundant dishes, its glass of ripe ale,
its pleased alacrity of service. After our long ride from West River, we
enjoy the best inn's best room, the ease, the comfort, and the fair aspect
of one of the prettiest towns in the province. Truro is situated on the
head waters of the Basin of Minas, or Cobequid Bay, as it is denominated
on the map, between the Shubenacadie and Salmon rivers. Here we are within
fifty miles of the idyllic land, the pastoral meadows of Grand-Pré! But,
alas! there is yet a long ride before us; the path from Truro to Grand-Pré
being in the shape of an acute angle, of which Halifax is the apex. As
yet there is no direct road from place to place, but by the shores of the
Basin of Minas. Let us look, however, at pleasant Truro.

One of the striking features of this part of the country is the
peculiarity of the rivers; these are full or empty, with every flux and
reflux of the tide; for instance, when we crossed the Salmon, we saw only
a high, broad, muddy ditch, drained to the very bottom. This is owing to
the ocean tides, which, sweeping up the Bay of Fundy, pour into the Basin
of Minas, and fill all its tributary streams; then, with prodigal
reaction, sweeping forth again, leave only the vacant channels of the
rivers--if they may be called by that name. This peculiar feature of
hydrography is of course local--limited to this section of the
province--indeed if it be not to this corner of the world. The country
surrounding the village is well cultivated, diversified with rolling hill
and dale, and although I had not the opportunity of seeing much of it, yet
the mere description of its natural scenery was sufficiently tempting.
Here, too, I saw something that reminded me of home--a clump of
cedar-trees! These of course were exotics, brought, not without expense,
from the States, planted in the courtyard of a little aristocratic
cottage, and protected in winter by warm over-coats of wheat straw. So we
go! Here they grub up larches and spruces to plant cedars.

The mail coach was soon at the door of our inn, and after taking leave of
my fellow-traveller with the big hat, I engaged a seat on the stage-box
beside Jeangros, a French Canadian, or Canuck--one of the best whips on
the line. Jeangros is not a great portly fellow, as his name would seem to
indicate, but a spare, small man--nevertheless with an air of great
courage and command. Jeangros touched up the leaders, the mail-coach
rattled through the street of the town, and off we trotted from Truro into
the pleasant road that leads to Halifax.

One thing I observed in the province especially worthy of imitation--the
old English practice of turning to the _left_ in driving, instead of to
the _right_, as we do. Let me exhibit the merits of the respective systems
by a brief diagram. By the English system they drive thus:

[Illustration]

The arrows represent the drivers, as well as the directions of the
vehicles; of course when two vehicles, coming in opposite directions,
pass each other on the road, each driver is nearest the point of contact,
and can see readily, and provide against accidents. Now contrast our
system with the former:

[Illustration]

no wonder we have so many collisions.

    "The rule of the road is a paradox quite,
      In driving your carriage along,
    If you keep to the left, you are sure to go right,
      If you keep to the right, you go wrong."

It would be a good thing if our present senseless laws were reversed in
this matter, and a few lives saved, and a few broken limbs prevented.

When I took leave of my native country for a short sojourn in this
province, the great question then before the public was the invasion of
international law, by the British minister and a whole solar system of
British consuls. I had the pleasure of being a fellow exile on the Canada
with Mr. Crampton, Mr. Barclay, and Mr.----, Her British Majesty's
representatives, and of course felt no little interest to know the fate of
the _Foreign Legion_.

Before I left Halifax, I learned some particulars of that famous flock of
jail birds. All that we knew, at home, was that a number of recruits for
the Crimea had been picked up in the streets and alleys of Columbia, and
carried, at an enormous expense, to Halifax, there to be enrolled. And
also, that as a mere cover to this infraction of the law of Neutrality,
the men were engaged as laborers, to work upon the public improvements of
Nova Scotia. The sequel of that enterprise remained to be told. A majority
of these recruits were Irishmen--some of them not wanting in the mother
wit of the race. So when they were gathered in the great province building
at Halifax, and Sir John Gaspard le Marchant, in chapeau, feather and
sword, came down to review his levies, with great spirit and military
pomp, "Well, my men," said he, "you are here to enlist, eh, and serve Her
Majesty?" To which the spokesman of the Foreign Legion, fully
understanding the beauty of his position, replied, with a sly twinkle of
the eye, "We didn't engage to 'list at all, at all, but to wurruk on the
railroad." Upon which Sir John Gaspard, seeing that Her Majesty had been
imposed upon, politely told the legion to go to----Dante's Inferno.

Now whether the place to which the Foreign Legion was consigned by Sir
John Gaspard, possessed even less attractions than Halifax, or from
whatever reason soever, it chanced that the jolly boys, raked from our
alleys and jails, never stirred a foot out of the province; and while the
peace of the whole world was endangered by their abduction, as that of
Greece and Troy had been by the rape of Helen, they were quietly enlisting
in less warlike expeditions--in fact, engaging themselves to work upon
that great railroad, of which mention has been made heretofore.

Now we have seen something of the clannish propensities of the people of
the colonies, and the contractors knew what sort of material they had to
deal with. And, inasmuch as there was a pretty large group of
five-shilling Highlandmen, grading, levelling, and filling in one end of a
section of the road, the gang of Irishmen was placed at the opposite end,
as far from them as possible, which no doubt would have preserved peaceful
relations between the two, but for the fact, that as the work progressed
the hostile forces naturally approached each other. It was towards the
close of a summer evening, that the ground was broken by the gentlemen of
the shamrock, within sight of the shanties decorated with the honorable
order of the thistle. A lovely evening in the month of June! Not with
spumy cannon and prickly bayonets, but with peaceful spade and mattock,
advanced the sons of St. Patrick towards the children of a sister isle.
Then did Roderick Dhu step forth from his shanty, and inquire, in choice
Gaelic, if a person named Brian Borheime was in the ranks of the
approaching forces. Then then did Brian Borheime advance, spade in hand,
and with a single spat of his implement level Roderick, as though he had
been a piece of turf. Then was Brian flattened out by the spade of Vich
Ian Vohr; and Vich Ian Vohr, by the spade of Captain Rock. Then fell
Captain Rock by the spade of Rob Roy; and Rob Roy smelt the earth under
the spade of Handy Andy. In a word, the fight became general--the bagpipe
blew to arms--Celt joined Celt, there was the tug of war; but the sun set
upon the lowered standard of the thistle, and victory proclaimed Shamrock
the conqueror. Several of the natives were left for dead upon the field of
battle, the triumphant Irish ran away, to a man, to avoid the
consequences, and I blush to say it, as I do to record any act of
heartless ingratitude, handbills were speedily posted up by the order of
government, offering a reward of ten pounds apiece for the capture of
certain members of the Foreign Legion, who had been the ringleaders in the
riot, which handbill was not only signed by that seducer of soldiers, Sir
John Gaspard le Marchant, but also ornamented with the horn of the unicorn
and the claws of the British lion.

But there is a Nemesis even in Nova Scotia, for this riot produced
effects, unwonted and unlooked for. One of the prominent leaders in the
Nova Scotia Parliament, a gentleman distinguished both as an orator and as
a poet--the Hon. Joseph Howe, who had signalized himself as an advocate of
the right of Her Majesty to recruit for the Crimea in the streets of
Columbia, and was ready to pit the British Lion against the American Eagle
in support of that right, fell by the very legion he had been so zealous
to create. The Hon. Joseph Howe, M. P., by the support of the Irish
population, could always command a _popular_ majority and keep his seat in
the house, so long as he maintained his loyalty to this votive class of
citizens. But, unfortunately, Hon. Joseph Howe, in alluding to the riot,
took the Scotch side of the broil. This was sufficient. At the election
following he was a defeated candidate, and politely advised to retire to
private life. Thus was the Hon. J. H. "hoist by his own petard," the first
man to fall by this expensive military company.

An adventure upon the Shubenacadie brought one of these heroes into
prominent relief. After we had parted from pleasant Truro, at every nook
and corner of the road, there seemed to be a passenger waiting for the
Halifax coach. So that the top of the vehicle was soon filled with dusty
fellow-travellers, and Jeangros was getting to be a little impatient. Just
as we turned into the densest part of the forest, where the evening sun
was most obscured by the close foliage, we saw two men, one decorated with
a pair of handcuffs, and the other armed with a brace of pistols. The
latter hailed the coach.

"What d'ye want?" quoth Jeangros, drawing up by the roadside.

"Government prisoner," said the man with the pistols.

"What the ---- is government prisoner to me?" quoth Jeangros.

"I want to take him to Dartmouth," said the tall policeman.

"Then take him there," said our jolly driver, shaking up the leaders.

"Hold up," shouted out the tall policeman, "I will pay his fare."

"Why didn't you say so, then?" replied Jeangros, full of the dignity of
his position as driver of H. B. M. Mail-coach, before whose tin horn
everything must get out of the way.

There was a doubt which was the drunkenest, the officer or the prisoner.
We found out afterwards that the officer had conciliated his captive with
drink, partly to keep him friendly in case of an attempted rescue, and
partly to get him in such a state that running away would be
impracticable. And, indeed, there would have been a great race if the
prisoner had attempted to escape. The prisoner too drunk to run--the
officer too drunk to pursue.

The pair had scarcely crawled up among the luggage upon the stage-top,
before there was an outcry from the passengers on the box in
front--"Uncock your pistols! uncock your pistols!" for the officer had
dropped his fire-arms, cocked and capped, upon the top of our coach, with
the muzzles pointed towards us. And indeed I may affirm here, that I never
saw metallic cylinders with more menacing aspect, than those which lay
quietly behind us, ready to explode--unconscious instruments as they
were--and carry any of the party into the next world upon the slightest
lurch of the stage-coach.

"Uncock your pistols," said the passengers.

But the officer, in the mellifluous dialect of his mother country, replied
that "He'd be ---- if he would. Me prishner," said he, "me prishner might
escape; or, the divil knows but there might be a rescue come to him, for
there's a good many of the same hereabouts."

It struck me that no person upon the top of the stage-coach was so
particularly interested in this dispute as the member of the Foreign
Legion, who was on his way either to the gallows or a perpetual prison. I
observed that he nervously twitched at his handcuffs, perhaps--as I
thought--to prepare for escape in case of an explosion; or else to be
ready for the rescue; or else to take advantage of his captor, the tall
policeman--jump from the stage, and run for dear life and liberty. Never
was I more mistaken. True to his race, and to tradition, Pat was only
striving to free himself from the leather shackles, in order to fight any
man who was an enemy to his friend the policeman, and the pistols, that
were cocked to shoot himself. But had not poor Paddy made such blunders in
all times? The hubbub increased, a terrific contest was impending; the
travellers below poked their heads out of the windows; there was every
prospect of a catastrophe of some kind, when suddenly Jeangros rose to his
feet, and said, in a voice clear and sharp through the tumult as an
electric flash through a storm, "_Uncock those pistols, or I will throw
you from the top of the coach!_"

There was a pause instantly, and we heard the sharp click of the cocks, as
they were lowered in obedience to the little stage-driver. It had a
wonderful power of command, that voice--soft and clear, but brief,
decisive, authoritative.

It is quite interesting to ride fellow-passenger with a person who has
played a part in the national drama, but more villainous face I never saw.
Mr. Crampton, with whom I sailed on the Canada, had a much more amiable
expression; indeed I think we should all be obliged to him for ridding us
of at least a portion of his fellow-countrymen.

But now we ride by the Shubenacadie lakes, a chain--a bracelet--binding
the province from the Basin of Minas to the seaboard. The eye never tires
of this lovely feature of Acadia. Lake above lake--the division, the
isthmus between, not wider than the breadth of your India shawl, my lady!
I must declare that, all in all, the scenery of the province is
surpassingly beautiful. As you ride by these sparkling waters, through the
flowery, bowery, woods, you feel as if you like to pitch tent here--at
least for the summer.

And now we approach a rustic inn by the roadside, rich in shrubbery before
it, and green moss from ridge-pole to low drooping eaves, where we change
horses. And as we rest here upon the wooden inn-porch, dismounted from our
high perch on the stage-coach, we see right above us against the clear
evening sky, Her Majesty's _ci-devant_ partisan, now prisoner--by merit
raised to that bad eminence. The officer hands him a glass of brandy, to
keep up his spirits. The prisoner takes it, and, lifting the glass high in
air, shouts out with the exultation of a fiend:

    "Here's to the hinges of liberty--may they never want oil,
    Nor an Orangeman's bones in a pot for to boil."

Once more upon the stage to Dartmouth, where we deposit our precious
fellow-travellers, and then to the ferry, and look you! across the harbor,
the twinkling lights of dear old mouldy Halifax. And now we are crossing
Chebucto, and the cab carries us again to our former quarters in the Hotel
Waverley.



CHAPTER XIV.

Halifax again--Hotel Waverley--"Gone the Old Familiar Faces"--The Story of
Marie de la Tour.


Again in old quarters! It is strange how we become attached to a place, be
it what it may, if we only have known it before. The same old room we
occupied years ago, however comfortless then, has a familiar air of
welcome now. There is surely some little trace of self, some unseen
spider-thread of attachment clinging to the walls, the old chair, the
forlorn wash-stand, and the knobby four-poster, that holds the hardest of
beds, the most consumptive of pillows, and a bolster as round, as white,
and as hard, as a cathedral mass-candle. Heigho, Hotel Waverley! Here am I
again; but where are the familiar faces? Where the brave soldier of
Inkerman and Balaklava? Where the jolly old Captain of the native rifles?
Where the Colonel, with his little meerschaum pipe he was so intent upon
coloring? Where the party of salmon-fishermen, the Solomons of
piscatology? Where the passengers by the "Canada?" And where is Picton?
Gone, like last year's birds!

"A glass of ale, Henry, and one cigar, only _one_; I wish to be solitary."

I like this bed-room of mine at the Waverley, with its blue and white
striped curtain at the window, through which the gas-lights of Halifax
streets appear in lucid spots, as I wait for Henry, with the candles. Now
I am no longer alone. I shut my chamber door, as it were, upon one world,
only that I may enjoy another. So I trim the candles, and spread out the
writing materials, and at once the characters of two centuries ago awake,
and their life to me is as the life of to-day.

There is nothing more captivating in literature, than the narrative of
some heroic deed of woman. Very few such are recorded; how many might be,
if the actors themselves had not shunned notoriety, and "uncommended
died," rather than encounter the ordeal of public praise? Of such the poet
has written:

    "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
    And waste its sweetness on the desert air."

Of such, many have lived and died, to live again only in fiction; whereas
their own true histories would have been greater than the inventions of
authors. We read of heroes laden with the "glittering spoils of empire,"
but the heroic deeds of woman are oftentimes, all in all, as great,
without the glitter; without the pomp and pageantry of triumphal
processions; without the pealing trumpet of renown. Boadicea, chained to
the car of Suetonius, is the too common memorial of heroic womanity.

The story I relate is but a transcript, a mere episode in the sad history
of Acadia: yet the record will be pleasing to those who estimate the
merits of brave women. This, then, is the legend of

                          MARIE DE LA TOUR.

In the year 1621, Sir William Alexander, afterwards Earl of Sterling,[B] a
romantic poet, and favorite of King James I., was presented by that
monarch with a patent to all the land known as Acadia, in the Americas.
Royalty in those days made out its parchment deeds for a province, without
taking the trouble to search the record office, to see if there were any
prior liens upon the territory. The good old rule obtained thus--

    "That they may take who have the power,
    And they may keep who can."

or, to quote the words of another writer--

    "For the time once was here, to all be it known,
    That all a man sailed by or saw was his own."

It is due to Sir William Alexander to say that he gave the province the
proud name which at present it enjoys, of Nova Scotia, or New Scotland, a
title much more appropriate than that of "Acadia,"[C] which to us means
nothing.

[B] This William Alexander, Earl of Sterling, was the ancestor of
General Lord Sterling, one of the most distinguished officers in the
American Revolution.

[C] The name "Acadia," is, no doubt, a primitive word, from the Abenaqui
tongue--we find it repeated in _Tracadie_, _Shubenacadie_, and elsewhere
in the province.

At this time the French Colony was slowly recovering from the effects of
the Argall expedition, that eight years before had laid waste its fair
possessions. Among a number of emigrants from the Loire and the Seine, two
gentlemen of birth and education, La Tour by name, father and son, set out
to seek their fortunes in the New World. It must be remembered that in the
original patent of Acadia, given by Henry IV. to De Monts, freedom of
religious opinion was one of the conditions of the grant, and therefore
the fact, that both the La Tours were Huguenots, did not prevent them
holding commissions under the French crown, the father having in charge a
small fleet of transports then ready to sail from the harbor of Brest; the
son, being the commander of a fort and garrison at Cape Sable, upon the
western end of Acadia.

Affairs being in this condition, it chanced that the English and French
ships set sail for the same port, at about the same time; and it so
happened that Sir William Alexander's fleet running afoul of the elder La
Tour's in a fog, not only captured that gallant chieftain but also his
transports, munitions of war, stores, artillery, etc. etc., and sailed
back with the prizes to England. I beg you to observe, my dear reader,
that occurrences of this kind were common enough at this period even in
times of peace, and not considered piracy either, the ocean was looked
upon as a mighty chessboard, and the game was won by those who could
command the greatest number of pieces.

Claude de la Tour, not as a prisoner of war, but as an enforced guest of
Sir William, was carried to London; and there robbed of his goods, but
treated like a gentleman; introduced at Court, although deprived of his
purse and liberty, and in a word, found himself surrounded with the most
hostile and hospitable conditions possible in life. It is not surprising
then that with true French philosophy he should have made the best of it;
gained the good will of the queen, played off a little _badinage_ with the
ladies of the court, and forgetting the late Lady de la Tour, asleep in
the old graveyard in the city of Rochelle, essayed to wear his widower
weeds with that union of grace and sentiment for which his countrymen are
so celebrated. The consequence was one of her majesty's maids of honor
fell in love with him; the queen encouraged the match; the king had just
instituted the new order of Knights Baronet, of Nova Scotia; La Tour, now
in the way of good fortune, was the first to be honored with the novel
title, and at the same time placed the matrimonial ring upon the finger of
the love-sick maid of honor. Indeed Charles Etienne de la Tour, commandant
of the little fort at Cape Sable, had scarcely lost a father, before he
had gained a step-mother.

That the French widower should have been so captivated by these marks of
royal favor as to lose his discretion, in the fullness of his gratitude;
and, that after receiving a grant of land from his patron, as a further
incentive, he should volunteer to assist in bringing Acadia under the
British Crown, and as a primary step, undertake to reduce the Fort at Cape
Sable; I say, that when I state this, nobody will be surprised, except a
chosen few, who cherish some old-fashioned notions, in these days more
romantic than real. "Two ships of war being placed under his command," he
set sail, with his guns and a Step-mother, to attack the Fort at Cape
Sable. The latter was but poorly garrisoned; but then it contained a
Daughter-in-law! Under such circumstances, it was plain to be seen that
the contest would be continued to the last ounce of powder.

Opening the trenches before the French fort, and parading his Scotch
troops in the eyes of his son, the elder La Tour attempted to capture the
garrison by argument. In vain he "boasted of the reception he had met with
in England, of his interest at court, and the honor of knighthood which
had been conferred upon him." In vain he represented "the advantages that
would result from submission," the benefits of British patronage; and
paraded before the eyes of the young commander the parchment grant, the
seal, the royal autograph, and the glittering title of Knight Baronet,
which had inspired his perfidy. His son, shocked and indignant, declined
the proffered honors and emoluments that were only to be gained by an act
of treason; and intimated his intention "to defend the Fort with his life,
sooner than deliver it up to the enemies of his country." The father used
the most earnest entreaties, the most touching and parental arguments.
Charles Etienne was proof against these. The Baronet alluded to the large
force under his command, and deplored the necessity of making an assault,
in case his propositions were rejected. Charles Etienne only doubled his
sentinels, and stood more firmly intrenched upon his honor. Then the elder
La Tour ordered an assault. For two days the storm continued; sometimes
the Mother-in-law led the Scotch soldiers to the breach, but the French
soldiers, under the Daughter-in-law, drove them back with such bitter
fury, that of the assailants it was hard to say which numbered most, the
living or the dead. At last, La Tour the elder abandoned the siege; and
"ashamed to appear in England, afraid to appear in France," accepted the
humiliating alternative of requesting an asylum from his son. Permission
to reside in the neighborhood was granted by Charles Etienne. The Scotch
troops were reëmbarked for England; and the younger and the elder Mrs. de
la Tour smiled at each other grimly from the plain and from the parapet.
Further than this there was no intercourse between the families. Whenever
Marie de la Tour sent the baby to grandmother, it went with a troop of
cavalry and a flag of truce; and whenever Lady de la Tour left her card at
the gate, the drums beat, and the guard turned out with fixed bayonets.

Such discipline had prepared Marie de la Tour for the heroic part which
afterwards raised her to the historical position she occupies in the
chronicles of Acadia. I have had occasion to speak of freedom of opinion
existing in this Province--but for the invasion of English and Scotch
filibusters, this absolute liberty of faith would have produced the
happiest fruits in the new colonies. But unfortunately in a weak and
newly-settled country, union in all things is an indispensable condition
of existence. This very liberty of opinion, in a great measure
disintegrated the early French settlements, and separated a people which
otherwise might have encountered successfully its rapacious enemies.

At this time the French Governor of Acadia, Razillia, died. Charles
Etienne la Tour as a subordinate officer, had full command of the eastern
part of the province, as the Chevalier d'Aulney de Charnisé, had of the
western portion, extending as far as the Penobscot. As for the Sterling
patent, Sir William, finding it of little value, had sold it to the elder
La Tour, but the defeated adventurer of Cape Sable by the treaty of St.
Germains in 1632, was stripped of his new possessions by King Charles I.,
who conveyed the whole of the territory again to Louis XIII. of France.
Thus it will be seen, that two claimants only were in possession of
Acadia; namely, the younger La Tour and D'Aulney. The elder La Tour now
retires from the scene, goes to England with his wife, and is heard of no
more.

Between the rival commanders in Acadia, there were certain points of
resemblance--both were youthful, both were brave, enterprising and
ambitious, both the happy husbands of proud and beautiful wives. Otherwise
La Tour was a Huguenot and D'Aulney a Catholic--thus it will be seen that
the latter had the most favor at the French court, while the former could
more securely count upon the friendship of the English of Massachusetts
Bay--no inconsiderable allies as affairs then stood. Under such
circumstances, it is not to be wondered at that there was a constant feud
between the two young officers, and their young wives. The chronicles of
the Pilgrims, the records of Bradford, Winthrop, Mather, and Hutchinson,
are full of the exploits of these pugnacious heroes. At one time La Tour
appears in person at Boston, to beat up recruits, as more than two hundred
years after, another power attempted to raise a foreign legion, and,
although the pilgrim fathers do not officially sanction the proceeding,
yet they connive at it, and quote Scripture to warrant them. Close upon
this follows a protest of D'Aulney, and with it the exhibition of a
warrant from the French king for the arrest of La Tour. Upon this there
is a meeting of the council and a treaty, offensive and defensive, made
with D'Aulney.

Meanwhile, Marie de la Tour arrived at Boston from England, where she had
been on a visit to her mother-in-law. The captain of the vessel upon which
she had reëmbarked for the new world, having carried her to this city
instead of to the river St. John, according to the letter of the charter,
was promptly served with a summons by that lady to appear before the
magistrates to show cause why he did it; and the consequence was, madame
recovered damages to the amount of two thousand pounds in the Marine Court
of the Modern Athens. With this sum in her pocket, she chartered a vessel
for the river St. John, and arrived at a small fort belonging to her
husband, on its banks, just in time to defend it against D'Aulney, who had
rallied his forces for an attack upon it, during the absence of Charles
Etienne.

Marie de la Tour at this time was one of the most beautiful women in the
new world. She was not less than twenty, nor more than thirty years of
age; her features had a charm beyond the limits of the regular; her eyes
were expressive; her mouth intellectual; her complexion brown and clear,
could pale or flush with emotions either tender or indignant. Before such
a commandress D'Aulney de Charnisé set down his forces in the year 1644.

The garrison was small--the brave Charles Etienne absent in a distant part
of the province. But the unconquerable spirit of the woman prevailed over
these disadvantages. At the first attack by D'Aulney, the guns of the fort
were directed with such consummate skill that every shot told. The
besieger, with twenty killed and thirteen wounded, was only too happy to
warp his frigate out of the leach of this lovely lady's artillery, and
retire to Penobscot to refit for further operations. Again D'Aulney sailed
up the St. John, with the intention of taking the place by assault. By
land as by water, his forces were repulsed with great slaughter. A host of
Catholic soldiers fell before a handful of Protestant guns, which was not
surprising, as the cannon were well pointed, and loaded with grape and
canister. For three days the French officer carried on the attack, and
then again retreated. On the fourth day a Swiss hireling deserted to the
enemy and betrayed the weakness of the garrison. D'Aulney, now confident
of success, determined to take the fort by storm; but as he mounted the
wall, the lovely La Tour, at the head of her little garrison, met the
besiegers with such determined bravery, that again they were repulsed.
That evening D'Aulney hung the traitorous Swiss, and proposed honorable
terms, if the brave commandress would surrender. To these terms Marie
assented, in the vain hope of saving the lives of the brave men who had
survived; the remnants of her little garrison. But the perfidious
D'Aulney, who, from the vigorous defence of the fort, had supposed the
number of soldiers to have been greater, instead of feeling that
admiration which brave men always experience when acts of valor are
presented by an enemy, lost himself in an abyss of chagrin, to find he had
been thrice defeated by a garrison so contemptible in numbers, and led by
a _female_. To his eternal infamy let it be recorded, that pretending to
have been deceived by the terms of capitulation, D'Aulney hanged the brave
survivors of the garrison, and even had the baseness and cruelty to parade
Madame de la Tour herself on the same scaffold, with the ignominious cord
around her neck, as a reprieved criminal.

To quote the words of the chronicler: "The violent and unusual exertions
which Madame la Tour had made, the dreadful fate of her household and
followers, and the total wreck of his fortune, had such an effect that she
died soon after this event."

So perished the beautiful, the brave, the faithful, the unfortunate!
Shall I add that her besieger, D'Aulney, died soon after, leaving a
bereaved but blooming widow? That Charles Etienne la Tour, to prevent
further difficulties in the province, laid siege to that sad and
sympathizing lady, not with flag and drum, shot and shell, but with the
more effectual artillery of love? That Madame D'Aulney finally
surrendered, and that Charles Etienne was wont to say to her, after the
wedding: "Beloved, _your_ husband and _my_ wife have had their pitched
battle, but let _us_ live in peace for the rest of our days, my dear."

Quaint, old, mouldy Halifax seems more attractive after re-writing this
portion of its early history. The defence of that little fort, with its
slender garrison, by Madame la Tour, against the perfidious Charnisé,
brings to mind other instances of female heroism, peculiar to the French
people. It recalls the achievements of Joan of Arc, and Charlotte Corday.
Not less, than these, in the scale of intrepid valor, are those of Marie
de la Tour.



CHAPTER XV.

Bedford Basin--Legend of the two French Admirals--An Invitation to the
Queen--Visit to the Prince's Lodge--A Touch of Old England--The Ruins.


The harbor of Chebucto, after stretching inland far enough to make a
commodious and beautiful site for the great city of Halifax, true to the
fine artistic taste peculiar to all bodies of water in the province,
penetrates still further in the landscape, and broadens out into a superb
land-locked lake, called Bedford Basin. The entrance to this basin is very
narrow, and it has no other outlet. Oral tradition maintains that about a
century ago a certain French fleet, lying in the harbor, surprised by the
approach of a superior body of English men-of-war in the offing, weighed
anchor and sailed up through this narrow estuary into the basin itself,
deceived by seeing so much water there, and believing it to be but a twin
harbor through which they could escape again to the open sea. And further,
that the French Admiral finding himself caught in this net with no chance
of escape, drew his sword, and placing the hilt upon the deck of his
vessel, fell upon the point of the weapon, and so died.

This tradition is based partly upon fact; its epoch is one of the most
interesting in the history of this province, and probably the turning
point in the affairs of the whole northern continent. The suicide was an
officer high in rank, the Duke d'Anville, who in 1746, after the first
capture of Louisburgh, sailed from Brest with the most formidable fleet
that had ever crossed the Atlantic, to re-take this famous fortress; then
to re-take Annapolis, next to destroy Boston, and finally to _visit_ the
West Indies. But his squadron being dispersed by tempestuous weather, he
arrived in Chebucto harbor with but a few ships, and not finding any of
the rest of his fleet there, was so affected by this and other disasters
on the voyage, that he destroyed himself. So says the _London Chronicle_
of August 24th, 1758, from which I take this account. The French say he
died of apoplexy, the English by poison. At all events, he was buried in a
little island in the harbor, after a defeat by the elements of as great an
armament as that of the Spanish Armada. Some idea of the disasters of this
voyage may be formed from one fact, that from the time of the sailing of
the expedition from Brest until its arrival at Chebucto, no less than
1,270 men died on the way from the plague. Many of the ships arriving
after this sad occurrence, Vice-Admiral Destournelle endeavored to fulfill
the object of the mission, and even with his crippled forces essay to
restore the glory of France in the western hemisphere. But he being
overruled by a council of war, plucked out his sword, and followed his
commander, the Duke d'Anville. What might have come of it, had either
admiral again planted the _fleur de lis_ upon the bastions of Louisburgh?

But to return to the to-day of to-day. Bedford Basin is now rapidly
growing in importance. The great Nova Scotia railway skirts the margin of
its storied waters, and already suburban villas for Haligonian
Sparrowgrasses, are being erected upon its banks.

I was much amused one morning, upon opening one of the Halifax papers, to
find in its columns a most warm and hearty invitation from the editor to
her majesty, Queen Victoria, soliciting her to visit the province, which,
according to the editorial phraseology, would be, no doubt, as interesting
as it was endeared to her, as the former residence of her gracious father,
the Duke of Kent.

In the year 1798, just twenty years before her present majesty was born,
the young Prince Edward was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the forces in
British North America. Loyalty, then as now, was rampant in Nova Scotia,
and upon the arrival of his Royal Highness, among other marks of
compliment, an adjacent island, that at present rejoices in a governor and
parliament of its own, was re-christened with the name it now bears,
namely--Prince Edward's Island. But I am afraid Prince Edward was a sad
reprobate in those days--at least, such is the record of tradition.

The article in the newspaper reminded me that somewhere upon Bedford Basin
were the remains of the "Prince's Lodge;" so one afternoon, accompanied by
a dear old friend, I paid this royal bower by Bendemeer's stream, a visit.
Rattling through the unpaved streets of Halifax in a one horse vehicle,
called, for obvious reasons, a "jumper," we were soon on the high-road
towards the basin. Water of the intensest blue--hill-slopes, now
cultivated, and anon patched with evergreens that look as black as squares
upon a chess board, between the open, broken grounds--a fine road--a
summer sky--an atmosphere spicy with whiffs of resinous odors, and no
fog,--these are the features of our ride. Yonder is a red building,
reflected in the water like the prison of Chillon, where some of our
citizens were imprisoned during the war of 1812--ship captives doubtless!
And here is the customary little English inn, where we stop our steed to
let him cool, while the stout landlord, girt with a clean white apron,
brings out to his thirsty travellers a brace of foaming, creamy glasses of
"right h'English h'ale." Then remounting the jumper, we skirt the edge of
the basin again, until a stately dome rises up before us on the road,
which, as we approach, we see is supported by columns, and based upon a
gentle promontory overhanging the water. This is the "Music House," where
the Prince's band were wont to play in days "lang syne." Here we stop, and
leaving our jumper in charge of a farmer, stroll over the grounds.

That peculiar arrangement of lofty trees, sweeping lawns, and graceful
management of water, which forms the prevailing feature of English
landscape gardening, was at once apparent. Although there were no trim
walks, green hedges, or beds of flowers; although the whole place was
ruined and neglected, yet the magic touch of art was not less visible to
the practised eye. The art that concealed art, seemed to lend a charm to
the sweet seclusion, without intruding upon or disturbing the intentions
of nature.

Proceeding up the gentle slope that led from the gate, a number of
columbines and rose-bushes scattered in wild profusion, indicated where
once had been the Prince's garden. These, although now in bloom and
teeming with flowers, have a vagrant, neglected air, like beauties that
had ran astray, never to be reclaimed. A little further we come upon the
ruins of a spacious mansion, and beyond these the remains of the library,
with its tumbled-down bricks and timbers, choking up the stream that wound
through the vice-regal domains: and here the bowling-green, yet fresh with
verdure; here the fishing pavilion, leaning over an artificial lake, with
an artificial island in the midst; and here are willows, and deciduous
trees, planted by the Prince; and other rose-bushes and columbines
scattered in wild profusion. I could not but admire the elegance and
grace, which, even now, were so apparent, amid the ruins of the lodge, nor
could I help recalling those earlier days, when the red-coats clustered
around the gates, and the grounds were sparkling with lamps at night; when
the band from the music-house woke the echoes with the clash of martial
instruments, and the young Prince, with his gay gallants, and his
powdered, patched, and painted Jezebels, held his brilliant court, with
banner, music, and flotilla; with the array of soldiery, and the pageantry
of ships-of-war, on Bedford Basin.

I stood by the ruins of a little stone bridge, which had once spanned the
sparkling brook, and led to the Prince's library; I saw, far and near, the
flaunting flowers of the now abandoned garden, and the distant columns of
the silent music house, and I felt sad amid the desolation, although I
knew not why. For wherefore should any one feel sad to see the temples of
dissipation laid in the dust? For my own part, I am a poor casuist, but
nevertheless, I do not think my conscience will suffer from this feeling.
There is a touch of humanity in it, and always some germ of sympathy will
bourgeon and bloom around the once populous abodes of men, whether they
were tenanted by the pure or by the impure.



CHAPTER XVI.

The Last Night--Farewell Hotel Waverley--Friends Old and New--What
followed the Marriage of La Tour le Borgne--Invasion of Col. Church.


Faint nebulous spots in the air, little red disks in a halo of fog,
acquaint us that there are gas-lights this night in the streets of
Halifax. Something new, I take it, this illumination? Carbonated hydrogen
is a novelty as yet in Chebucto. But in this soft and pleasant atmosphere,
I cannot but feel some regret at leaving my old quarters in the Hotel
Waverley. If I feel how much there is to welcome me elsewhere, yet I do
not forsake this queer old city--these strange, dingy, weather-beaten
streets, without reluctance; and chiefly I feel that now I must separate
from some old friends, and from some new ones too, whom I can ill spare.
And if any of these should ever read this little book, I trust they will
not think the less of me because of it. If the salient features of the
province have sometimes appeared to me, a stranger, a trifle distorted,
it may be that my own stand-point is defective. And so farewell! To-morrow
I shall draw nearer homeward, by Windsor and the shores of the Gasperau,
by Grand-Pré and the Basin of Minas. Candles, Henry! and books!

The marriage of La Tour to the widow of his deceased rival, for a time
enabled that brave young adventurer to remain in quiet possession of the
territory. But to the Catholic Court of France, a suspected although not
an avowed Protestant, in commission, was an object of distrust. No matter
what might have been his former services, indeed, his defence of Cape
Sable had saved the French possessions from the encroachments of the
Sterling patent, yet he was heretic to the true faith, and therefore
defenceless in an important point against the attacks of an enemy. Such a
one was La Tour le Borgne, who professed to be a creditor of D'Aulney, and
pressing his suit with all the ardor of bigotry and rapacity, easily
succeeded in "obtaining a decree by which he was authorized to enter upon
the possessions of his _deceased debtor_!" But the adherents of Charles
Etienne did not readily yield to the new adventurer. They had tasted the
sweets of religious liberty, and were not disposed to come within the
arbitrary yoke without a struggle. Disregarding the "decree," they stood
out manfully against the forces of Le Borgne. Again were Catholic French
and Protestant French cannon pointed against each other in unhappy Acadia.
But fort after fort fell beneath the new claimant's superior artillery,
until La Tour le Borgne himself was met by a counter-force of bigotry,
before which his own was as chaff to the fanning-mill. The man of England,
Oliver Cromwell, had his little claim, too, in Acadia. Against his forces
both the French commanders made but ineffectual resistance. Acadia for the
third time fell into the hands of the English.

Now in the history of the world there is nothing more patent than this:
that persecution in the name of religion, is only a ring of calamities,
which ends sooner or later where it began. And this portion of its history
can be cited as an example. Charles Etienne de la Tour, alienated by the
unjust treatment of his countrymen, decided to accept the protection of
his national enemy. As the heir of Sir Claude de la Tour, he laid claim to
the Sterling grants (which it will be remembered had been ceded to his
father by Sir William Alexander after the unsuccessful attack upon Cape
Sable,) and in conjunction with two English Puritans obtained a new patent
for Acadia from the Protector, under the great seal, with the title of Sir
Charles La Tour. Then Sir Thomas Temple (one of the partners in the
Cromwell patent) purchased the interest of Charles Etienne in Acadia. Then
came the restoration, and again Acadia was restored to France by Charles
II. in 1668. But Sir Thomas having embarked all his fortune in the
enterprise, was not disposed to submit to the arbitrary disposal of his
property by this treaty; and therefore endeavored to evade its articles by
making a distinction between such parts of the province as were supposed
to constitute Acadia proper, and the other portions of the territory
comprehended under the title of Nova Scotia. "This distinction being
deemed frivolous," Sir Thomas was ordered to obey the letter of the
treaty, and accordingly the _whole of Nova Scotia_ was delivered up to the
Chevalier de Grande Fontaine. During twenty years succeeding this event,
Acadia enjoyed comparative repose, subject only to occasional visits of
filibusters. At the expiration of that time, a more serious invasion was
meditated. Under the command of Sir William Phipps, a native of New
England, three ships, with transports and soldiers, appeared before Port
Royal, and demanded an unconditional surrender. Although the fort was
poorly garrisoned, this was refused by Manivel, the French governor, but
finally terms of capitulation were agreed upon: these were, that the
French troops should be allowed to retain their arms and baggage, and be
carried to Quebec; that the inhabitants should be maintained in the
peaceable possession of their property, and in the exercise of their
religion; and that the honor of the women should be observed. Sir William
agreed to the conditions, but declined signing the articles, pompously
intimating that the "word of a general was a better security than any
document whatever." The French governor, deceived by this specious parade
of language, took the New England filibuster at his word, and formally
surrendered the keys of the fortress, according to the verbal contract.
Again was poor Acadia the victim of her perfidious enemy. Sir William,
disregarding the terms of the capitulation, and the "word of a general,"
violated the articles he had pledged his honor to maintain, disarmed and
imprisoned the soldiers, sacked the churches, and gave the place up to all
the ruthless cruelties and violences of a general pillage. Not only this,
the too credulous Governor, Manivel, was himself imprisoned, plundered of
money and clothes, and carried off on board the conqueror's frigate, with
many of his unfortunate companions, to view the further spoliations of his
countrymen. Many a peaceful Acadian village expired in flames during that
coasting expedition, and to add to the miseries of the defenceless
Acadians, two _piratical_ vessels followed in the wake of the pious Sir
William, and set fire to the houses, slaughtered the cattle, hanged the
inhabitants, and deliberately burned up one whole family, whom they had
shut in a dwelling-house for that purpose.

Soon after this, Sir William was rewarded with the governorship of New
England, as Argall had been with that of Virginia, nearly a century
before.

Now let it be remembered that in these expeditions, very little, if any,
attempt was made by the invaders to colonize or reside on the lands they
were so ready to lay waste and destroy. The mind of the species "Puritan,"
by rigid discipline hardened against all frivolous amusements, and
insensible to the charms of the drama, and the splendors of the mimic
spectacle, with its hollow shows of buckram, tinsel, and pasteboard, seems
to have been peculiarly fitted to enjoy these more substantial
enterprises, which, owing to the defenceless condition of the French
province, must have appeared to the rigid Dudleys and Endicotts merely as
a series of light and elegant pastimes.

Scarcely had Sir William Phipps returned to Boston, when the Chevalier
Villabon came from France with troops and implements of war. On his
arrival, he found the British flag flying at Port Royal, unsupported by
an English garrison. It was immediately lowered from the flag-staff, the
white flag of Louis substituted, and once more Acadia was under the
dominion of her parental government.

Villabon, in a series of petty skirmishes, soon recovered the rest of the
territory, which was only occupied at a few points by feeble New England
garrisons, and, in conjunction with a force of Abenaqui Indians, laid
siege to the fort at Pemaquid, on the Penobscot, and captured it. In this
affair, as we have seen, the famous Baron Castine was engaged.

The capture of the fort at Pemaquid, led to a train of reprisals,
conspicuous in which was an actor in the theatre of events who heretofore
had not appeared upon the Acadian stage. This was Col. Church, a
celebrated bushwhacker and Indian-fighter, of memorable account in the
King Philip war.

In order to estimate truly the condition of the respective parties, we
must remember the severe iron and gunpowder nature of the Puritan of New
England, his prejudices, his dyspepsia; his high-peaked hat and ruff; his
troublesome conscience and catarrh; his natural antipathies to Papists and
Indians, from having been scalped by one, and roasted by both; his
English insolence; and his religious bias, at once tyrannic and
territorial.

Then, on the other, we must call to view the simple Acadian peasant,
Papist or Protestant, just as it happened; ignorant of the great events of
the world; a mere offshoot of rural Normandy; without a thought of other
possessions than those he might reclaim from the sea by his dykes;
credulous, pure-minded, patient of injuries; that like the swallow in the
spring, thrice built the nest, and when again it was destroyed,

      ----"found the ruin wrought,
    But, not cast down, forth from the place it flew,
    And with its mate fresh earth and grasses brought,
      And built the nest anew."

Against such people, the expedition of Col. Church, fresh from the
slaughter of Pequod wars, bent its merciless energies. Regardless of the
facts that the people were non-resistants; that the expeditions of the
French had been only feeble retaliations of great injuries; and always by
levies from the mother country, and not from the colonists; that Villabon,
at the capture of Pemaquid, had generously saved the lives of the soldiers
in the garrison from the fury of the Mic-Macs, who had just grounds of
retribution for the massacres which had marked the former inroads of
these ruthless invaders; the wrath of the Pilgrim Fathers fell upon the
unfortunate Acadians as though they had been a nation of Sepoys.[D]

[D] One incident will suffice to show the character of these forays. A
small island on Passamaquoddy Bay was invaded by the forces under Col.
Church, at night. The inhabitants made no resistance. All gave up;
"but," says Church in his dispatch to the governor, "looking over a
little run, I saw something look black just by me: stopped and heard a
talking; stepped over and saw a little hut, or wigwam, with a crowd of
people round about it, which was contrary to my former directions. I
asked them what they were doing? They replied, 'there were some of the
enemy in a house, and would not come out.' I asked what house? They
said, 'a bark house' I hastily bid them pull it down, _and knock them on
the head, never asking whether they were French or Indians, they being
all enemies alike to me_." Such was the merciless character of these
early expeditions to peaceful Acadia.

    "Herod of Galilee's babe-butchering deed
      Lives not on history's blushing page alone;
    Our skies, it seems, have seen like victims bleed,
      And our own Ramahs echoed groan for groan;
    The fiends of France, whose cruelties decreed
      Those dexterous drownings in the Loire and Rhone,
    Were, at their worst, but copyists, second-hand,
    Of our shrined, sainted sires, the Plymouth Pilgrim band."



One of the severest cruelties practised upon these inoffensive people, was
that of requiring them to betray their friends, the Indians, under the
heaviest penalties. In Acadia, the red and the white man were as brothers;
no treachery, no broken faith, no over-reaching policy had severed the
slightest fibre of good fellowship on either side. But the Abenaqui race
was a warlike people. At the first invasion, under Argall, the red man had
seen with surprise a mere handful of white men disputing for a territory
to which neither could offer a claim; so vast as to make either occupation
or control by the adventurers ridiculous; and therefore, with good-natured
zeal, he had hastened to put an end to the quarrel, as though the white
people had only been fractious but not irreconcilable kinsmen. But as the
power of New England advanced more and more in Acadia, the first generous
desire of the red man had merged into suspicion, and finally hatred of the
peaked hat and ruff of Plymouth. In all his dealings with the Acadians,
the Indian had found only unimpeachable faith and honor; but with the
colonist of Massachusetts, there had been nothing but over-reaching and
treachery: intercourse with the first had not led to a scratch, or a
single drop of blood; while on the other hand a bounty of "one hundred
pounds was offered for each male of their tribe if over twelve years of
age, if scalped; one hundred and five pounds if taken prisoner; fifty
pounds for each _woman and child scalped_, and fifty pounds when brought
in alive."

The Abenaqui tribes therefore, first, to avenge the injuries of their
unresisting friends, the Acadians, and after to avenge their own, waged
war upon the invaders with all the severities of an aggrieved and
barbarous people. And, as I have said before, the severest cruelty
inflicted upon the Acadian colonist, was to oblige him to betray his best
friend and protector, the painted heathen, with whom he struck hands and
plighted faith. To the honor of these colonists, be it said, that although
they saw their long years' labor of dykes broken down, the sea sweeping
over their farms, the fire rolling about their homesteads, their cattle
and sheep destroyed, their effects plundered, and wanton and nameless
outrages committed by the English and Yankee soldiery, yet in no instance
did they purchase indemnity from these, by betraying a single Indian.



CHAPTER XVII.

A few more Threads of History--Acadia again lost--The Oath of
Allegiance--Settlement of Halifax--The brave Three Hundred--Massacre at
Norridgewoack--Le Père Ralle.


During the invasion of Col. Church, the inhabitants of Grand-Pré were
exposed to such treatment as may be conceived of. The smoke from the
borders of the five rivers, overlooked by Blomidon, rose in the stilly
air, and again the sea rolled past the broken dykes, which for nearly a
century had kept out its desolating waters between the Cape and the
Gasperau. Driven to despair, a few of the younger Acadians took up arms to
defend their hearthstones, but the great body of the people submitted
without resistance. A brief stand was made at Port Royal, but this last
outpost finally capitulated. By the terms of the articles agreed upon, the
inhabitants were to have the privilege of remaining upon their estates for
two years, upon taking an oath of allegiance to remain faithful to her
majesty, Queen Anne, during that period. Upon that consideration, those
who lived _within cannon-shot_ of the fort, were to be protected in their
rights and properties. This was but a piece of _finesse_ on the part of
the invaders, an entering wedge, as it were, of a novel kind of tyranny,
namely, that inasmuch as those within cannon-shot had taken the oath of
allegiance, those without the reach of artillery, at Port Royal, also,
were bound to do the same. And a strong detachment of New England troops,
under Captain Pigeon, was sent upon an expedition to enforce the arbitrary
oath. But Captain Pigeon, in the pursuit of his duty, fell in with an
enemy of a less gentle nature than the Acadians. A body of Abenaqui came
down upon him and his men, and smote them hip and thigh, even as the three
hundred warriors of Israel smote the Midianites in the valley of Moreh.
Then was there temporary relief in the land until the year 1713, when by a
treaty Acadia was formally surrendered to England. The weight of the oath
of allegiance now fell heavily upon the innocent colonists. We can
scarcely appreciate the abhorrence of a people, so conscientious as this,
to take an oath of fidelity to a race that had only been known to them by
its rapacity. But partly by persuasion, partly by menace, a majority of
the Acadians took the oath, which was as follows:

"_Je promets et jure sincèrement, en foi de Chrétien, que je serai
entièrement fidèle et obéirai vraiment sa Majesté le roi George, que je
reconnaias pour le Souverain seigneur de l'Acadie, ou Nouvelle Ecosse,
ainsi Dieu me soit en aide_."

Under the shadow of the protection derived from their acceptance of this
oath, the Acadians reposed a few years. It did not oblige them to bear
arms against their countrymen, nor did it compromise their religious
independence of faith. Again the dykes were built to resist the
encroachments of the sea; again village after village arose--at the mouth
of the Gasperau, on the shores of the Canard, beside the Strait of
Frontenac, at Le Have, and Rossignol, at Port Royal and Pisiquid. During
all these years no attempt had been made by the captors of this province,
to colonize the places baptized with the waters of Puritan progress.
Lunenburgh was settled with King William's Dutchmen; the walls of
Louisburgh were rising in one of the harbors of a neighboring island; but
in no instance had the filibusters projected a _colony_ on the soil which
had been wrested from its rightful owners. The only result of all their
bloody visitations upon a non-resisting people, had been to make
defenceless Acadia a neutral province. From this time until the close of
the drama, in all the wars between the Georges and the Louises, in both
hemispheres, the people of Acadia went by the name of "The Neutral
French."

Meantime the walls of Louisburgh were rising on the island of Cape Breton,
which, with Canada, still remained under the sovereign rule of the French.
The Acadians were invited to remove within the protection of this
formidable fortress, but they preferred remaining intrenched behind their
dykes, firmly believing that the only invader they had now to dread was
the sea, inasmuch as they had accepted the oath of fidelity, in which, and
in their inoffensive pursuits, they imagined themselves secure from
farther molestation. Some of their Indian neighbors, however, accepted the
invitation of the Cape Breton French, and removed thither. These simple
savages, notwithstanding the changes in the government, still regarded the
Acadians as friends, and the English as enemies. They could not comprehend
the nature of a treaty by which their own lands were ceded to a hostile
force; a treaty in which they were neither consulted nor considered.[E]
They had their own injuries to remember, which in no wise had been
balanced in the compact of the strangers. The rulers in New France (so
says the chronicler) "affected to consider the Indians as an independent
people." At Canseau, at Cape Sable, at Annapolis, and Passamaquoddy,
English forts, fishing stations, and vessels were attacked and destroyed
by the savages with all the circumstances that make up the hideous
features of barbaric reprisal. Unhappy Acadia came in for her share of
condemnation. Although her innocent people had no part in these
transactions, yet her missionaries had converted the Abenaqui to faith in
the symbol of the crucifixion, and it was currently reported and credited
in New England, that they had taught the savages to believe also the
English were the people who had crucified our Saviour. To complicate
matters again, the Chevalier de St. George (of whom there is no
recollection except that he was anonymous, both as a prince, and as a man)
sent his son, the fifth remove in stupidity, of the most stupid line of
monarchs (not even excepting the Georges) that ever wore crowns, to stir
up an insurrection among the most obtuse race of people that ever wore, or
went without, breeches. A war between France and England followed the
descent of the Pretender. A war naturally followed in the Colonies.

[E] In the treaty of Utrecht, no mention was made either of the Indians
or of their lands.

Again the ring of fire and slaughter met and ended in a treaty; the treaty
of Aix la Chapelle, by which Cape Breton was ceded to France, and Nova
Scotia, or Acadia, to England. Up to this time no attempt at colonizing
the fertile valleys of Acadia, by its captors, had been attempted. At
last, under large and favorable grants from the Crown, a colony was
established by the Hon. Edward Cornwallis, at a place now known as
Halifax. No sooner was Halifax settled, than sundry tribes of red men made
predatory visits to the borders of the new colony. Reprisals followed
reprisals, and it is not easy to say on which side lay the largest amount
of savage fury. At the same time, the Acadians remained true to the spirit
and letter of the oath they had taken. "They had relapsed," says the
chronicler, "into a sort of sullen neutrality." This was considered just
cause of offence. The oath which had satisfied Governor Phipps, did not
satisfy George II. A new oath of allegiance was tendered, by which the
Acadians were required to become loyal subjects of the English Crown, to
bear arms against their countrymen, and the Indians to whom the poor
colonists were bound by so many ties of obligation and affection. The
consciences of these simple people revolted at a requisition "so repugnant
to the feelings of human nature." Three hundred of the younger and braver
Acadians took up arms against their oppressors. This overt act was just
what was desired by the wily Puritans. Acadia, with its twenty thousand
inhabitants, was placed under the ban of having violated the oath of
neutrality in the persons of the three hundred. In vain the great body of
the people protested that this act was contrary to their wishes, their
peaceful habits, and beyond their control. At the fort of Beau Séjour, the
brave three hundred made a gallant stand, but were defeated. Would there
had been a Leonidas among them! Would that the whole of their kinsmen had
erected forts instead of dykes, and dropped the plough-handles to press
the edge of the sabre against the grindstone! Sad indeed is the fate of
that people who make any terms with such an enemy, except such as may be
granted at the bayonet's point. Sad indeed is the condition of that people
who are wrapt in security when Persecution steals in upon them, hiding its
bloody hands under the garments of sanctity.

Among the many incidents of these cruel wars, the fate of a Jesuit priest
may stand as a type of the rest. Le Père Ralle had been a missionary for
forty years among the various tribes of the Abenaqui. "His literary
attainments were of a high order;" his knowledge of modern languages
respectable; "his Latin," according to Haliburton, "was pure, classical
and elegant;" and he was master of several of the Abenaqui dialects;
indeed, a manuscript dictionary of the Abenaqui languages, in his
handwriting, is still preserved in the library of the Harvard University.
Of one of these tribes--the Norridgewoacks--Father Ralle was the pastor.
Its little village was on the banks of the Kennebeck; the roof of its tiny
chapel rose above the pointed wigwams of the savages; and a huge cross,
the emblem of peace, lifted itself above all, the conspicuous feature of
the settlement in the distance. By the tribe over which he had exercised
his gentle rule for so many years, Le Père Ralle was regarded with
superstitious reverence and affection.

It does not appear that these people had been accused of any overt acts;
but, nevertheless, the village was marked out for destruction. Two hundred
and eight Massachusetts men were dispatched upon this errand. The
settlement was surprised at night, and a terrible scene of slaughter
ensued. Ralle came forth from his chapel to save, if possible, the lives
of his miserable parishioners. "As soon as he was seen," says the
chronicler,[F] "he was saluted with a great shout and a shower of bullets,
and fell, together with seven Indians, who had rushed out of their tents
to defend him with their bodies; and when the pursuit ceased, the Indians
who had fled, returned to weep over their beloved missionary, and found
him dead at the foot of the cross, his body perforated with balls, his
head scalped, his skull broken with blows of hatchets, his mouth and eyes
filled with mud, the bones of his legs broken, and his limbs dreadfully
mangled. After having bathed his remains with their tears, they buried him
on the site of the chapel, that had been hewn down with its crucifix, with
whatever else remained of the emblems of idolatry." Such was the merciless
character of the invasion of Acadia; such the looming phantom of the
greater crime which was so speedily to spread ruin over her fair valleys,
and scatter forever her pastoral people.

[F] Charlevoix.

The tranquillity of entire subjugation followed these events in the
province. The New Englander built his menacing forts along the rivers, and
pressed into his service the labors of the neutral French. "The
requisitions which were made of them were not calculated to conciliate
affection," says the chronicler; the poor Acadian peasant was informed, if
he did not supply the garrison fuel, his own house would be used for that
purpose, and that neglect to furnish timber for the repairs of a fort,
would be followed by drum-head courts martial, and "military execution."

To all these exactions, these unhappy people patiently submitted. But in
vain. The very existence of the subjugated race had become irksome to
their oppressors. A cruelty yet more intolerable to which the history of
the world affords no parallel, remained to be perpetrated.



CHAPTER XVIII.

On the road to Windsor--The great Nova Scotia Railway--A Fellow
Passenger--Cape Sable Shipwrecks--Seals--Ponies--Windsor--Sam Slick--A
lively Example.


A dewy, spring-like morning is all I remembered of my farewell to Halifax.
A very sweet and odorous air as I rode towards the railway station in the
funereal cab; a morning without fog, a sparkling freshness that twinkled
in the leaves and crisped the waters.

So I take leave of thee, quaint old city of Chebucto. The words of a
familiar ditty, the memory of the unfortunate Miss Bailey, rises upon me
as the morning bugle sounds--

    "A captain bold in Halifax, who lived in country quarters,
    Seduced a maid, who hung herself next morning in her garters;
    His wicked conscience smoted him, he lost his spirits daily,
    He took to drinking ratifia, and thought upon Miss Bailey."

While the psychological features of the case were puzzling his brain and
keeping him wide awake--

    "The candles blue, at XII. o'clock, began to burn quite paley,
    A ghost appeared at his bedside, and said--
                                      behold, Miss Bailey!!!"

Even such a sprite, so dead in look, so woe-begone, drew Priam's curtain
in the dead of night to tell him half his Troy was burned; but this visit
was for a different purpose, as we find by the words which the gallant
Lothario addressed to his victim:

    "'You'll find,' says he, 'a five-pound note in my regimental
            small-clothes;
    'T will bribe the sexton for your grave,' the ghost then vanished
            gaily,
    Saying, 'God bless you, wicked Captain Smith, although you've
            ruined Miss Bailey.'"

There is no end to these legends; the whole province is full of them. The
Province Building is stuffed with rich historical manuscripts, that only
wait for the antiquarian explorer.[G]

[G] Since my visit this work has actually commenced. At the close of the
legislative session of 1857, the Hon. Joseph Howe moved, and the Hon.
Attorney-General seconded, and the House, after some demur, resolved,
that his Excellency be requested to appoint a commission for examining
and arranging the records of the Province. Dining the recess the office
was instituted, and Thomas B. Akins, Esq., a gentleman distinguished for
antiquarian taste and research, was appointed commissioner. It was known
that in the garrets or cellars of the Province Building were heaps of
manuscript records, of various kinds; but their exact nature and value
were only surmised. Some of these had vanished, it is said, by the
agency of rats and mice; and moth and mold were doing their work on
other portions. To stay the waste, to ascertain what the heaps
contained, and to arrange documents at all worthy of preservation, the
commission was appointed. Mr. Akins has been for some months at the
superintendence of the work, helped by a very industrious assistant, Mr.
James Farquhar. Very pleasing results indeed have been realized. Several
boxes of documents, arranged and labelled, have been packed, and fifteen
or twenty volumes of interesting manuscripts have been prepared. Some of
these are of great interest, relative to the history of the Province,
and of British America generally, being original papers concerning the
conquest and settling of the Provinces, and having reference to the
Acadian French, the Indians, the taking of Louisburgh, of Quebec, and
other matters of historic importance connected with the suppression of
French dominion in America. We understand some of these documents prove,
as many previously believed, that what appeared to be a stern necessity,
and not wanton oppression or tyranny, caused the painful dispersion of
the former French inhabitants of the more poetic and pastoral parts of
Acadia. If this be so, some excellent sentiment and eloquent romance
will have to be taken with considerable modification. A few of the most
indignant bursts (?) in Longfellow's fine poem of "Evangeline" may be in
this predicament; and may have to be read, not exactly as so much
gospel, but rather as rhetorical extremes, unsubstantial, but too
elegant to be altogether discarded. In volumes alluded to, of the record
commission, the dispatches, and letters, and other documents of a former
age, and in the handwriting, or from the immediate dictation, of eminent
personages, will present very attractive material for those who find
deep interest in such venerable inquiries; who obtain from this kind of
lore a charming renewal of the past, a clearing up of local history, and
an almost face-to-face conference with persons whose names are landmarks
of national annals. The commission not only examines and arranges, but
forms copious characteristic "contents" of the volumes, and an index for
easy reference; it also keeps a journal of each day's proceedings. The
"contents" tell the nature and topics of each document, and will thus
facilitate research, and prevent much injurious turning over of the
manuscripts. The work, too long delayed, has been happily commenced. Its
neglect was felt to be a fault and a reproach, and serious loss was
known to impend; but still it was put off, and spoken lightly of, and
sneered at, and a very mistaken economy pretended, until last
legislative session, when it was adopted by accident apparently, and is
now in successful operation. The next questions are, how will the
arranged documents be preserved? who will have them in charge? will they
be allowed to be scattered about in the hands of privileged persons, to
be lost wholesale? or will they, as they should, be sacredly conserved,
a store to which all shall have a common but well-guarded light of
access and research.--_Halifax Sun_, _Dec. 9, 1857_.

But now we approach the station of the great Nova Scotia Railway, nine and
three-quarter miles in length, that skirts the margin of Bedford Basin,
and ends at the head of that blue sheet of water in the village of
Sackville. It is amusing to see the gravity and importance of the
conductor, in uniform frock-coat and with crown and V. R. buttons, as he
paces up and down the platform before starting; and the quiet dignity of
the sixpenny ticket-office; and the busy air of the freight-master,
checking off boxes and bundles for the distant terminus--so distant that
it can barely be distinguished by the naked eye. But it was a pleasant
ride, that by the Basin! Not less pleasant because of the company of an
old friend, who, with wife and children, went with me to the end of the
iron road. Arrived there, we parted, with many a hearty hand-shake, and
thence by stage to Windsor, on the river Avon, forty-five miles or so west
of Halifax.

My fellow-passenger on the stage-top was a pony! Yes, a real pony! not
bigger, however, than a good sized pointer dog, although his head was of
most preposterous horse-like length. This equine Tom Thumb, was one of the
mustangs, or wild horses of Sable Island, some little account of which
here may not be uninteresting. But first let me say, in order not to tax
the credulity of my reader too much, that pony did not stand upright upon
the roof of the coach, as may have been surmised, but was very cleverly
laid upon his side, with his four legs strapped in the form of a saw-buck,
precisely as butchers tie the legs of calves or of sheep together, for
transportation in carts to the shambles, only pony's fetters were not so
cruel--indeed he seemed to be quite at his ease--like the member of the
foreign legion on the road to Dartmouth.

Now then, pony's birth-place is one of the most interesting upon our
coast. Do you remember it, my transatlantic traveller? The little yellow
spot that greets you so far out at sea, and bids you welcome to the
western hemisphere? I hope you have seen it in fine weather; many a goodly
ship has left her bones upon that yellow island in less auspicious
seasons. The first of these misadventurers was Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who
was lost in a storm close by; the memorable words with which he hailed his
consort are now familiar to every reader: "Heaven," said he, "is as near
by sea as by land," and so bade the world farewell in the tempest. Legends
of wrecks of buccaneers, of spectres, multiply as we penetrate into the
mysterious history of the yellow island. And its present aspect is
sufficiently tempting to the adventurous, for whom--

    "If danger other charms have none,
    Then danger's self is lure alone."

The following description, from a lecture delivered in Halifax, by Dr. J.
Bernard Gilpin, will commend itself to our modern Robinson Crusoes:

"Should any one be visiting the island now, he might see, about ten miles'
distance, looking seaward, half a dozen low, dark hummocks on the horizon.
As he approaches, they gradually resolve themselves into hills fringed by
breakers, and by and by the white sea beach with its continued surf--the
sand-hills, part naked, part waving in grass of the deepest green, unfold
themselves--a house and a barn dot the western extremity--here and there
along the wild beach lie the ribs of unlucky traders half-buried in the
shifting sand. By this time a red ensign is waving at its peak, and from a
tall flag-staff and crow's nest erected upon the highest hill midway of
the island, an answering flag is waving to the wind. Before the anchor is
let go, and the cutter is rounding to in five fathoms of water, men and
horses begin to dot the beach, a life-boat is drawn rapidly on a boat-cart
to the beach, manned, and fairly breasting the breakers upon the bar. It
may have been three long winter months that this boat's crew have had no
tidings of the world, or they may have three hundred emigrants and wrecked
crews, waiting to be carried off. The hurried greetings over, news told
and newspapers and letters given, the visitor prepares to return with them
to the island. Should it be evening, he will see the cutter already under
weigh and standing seaward; but, should it be fine weather, plenty of
day, and wind right off the shore, even then she lies to the wind anchor
apeak, and mainsail hoisted, ready to run at a moment's notice, so sudden
are the shifts of wind, and so hard to claw off from those treacherous
shores. But the life-boat is now entering the perpetual fringe of surf--a
few seals tumble and play in the broken waters, and the stranger draws his
breath hard, as the crew bend to their oars, the helmsman standing high in
the pointed stern, with loud command and powerful arm keeping her true,
the great boat goes riding on the back of a huge wave, and is carried high
up on the beach in a mass of struggling water. To spring from their seats
into the water, and hold hard the boat, now on the point of being swept
back by the receding wave, is the work of an instant. Another moment they
are left high and dry on the beach, another, and the returning wave and a
vigorous run of the crew has borne her out of all harm's way.

"Such is the ceremony of landing at Sable Island nine or ten months out of
the year: though there are at times some sweet halcyon days when a lad
might land in a flat. Dry-shod the visitor picks his way between the
thoroughly drenched crew, picks up a huge scallop or two, admires the
tumbling play of the round-headed seals, and plods his way through the
deep sand of an opening between the hills, or gulch (so called) to the
head-quarters establishment. And here, for the last fifty years, a kind
welcome has awaited all, be they voluntary idlers or sea-wrecked men.
Screened by the sand-hills, here is a well-stocked barn and barnyard,
filled with its ordinary inhabitants, sleek milch cows and heady bulls,
lazy swine, a horse grazing at a tether, with geese and ducks and fowls
around. Two or three large stores and boat-houses, quarters for the men,
the Superintendent's house, blacksmith shop, sailors' home for sea-wrecked
men, and oil-house, stand around an irregular square, and surmounted by
the tall flag-staff and crow's nest on the neighboring hill. So abrupt the
contrast, so snug the scene, if the roar of the ocean were out of his
ears, one might fancy himself twenty miles inland.

"Nearly the first thing the visitor does is to mount the flag-staff, and
climbing into the crow's nest, scan the scene. The ocean bounds him
everywhere. Spread east and west, he views the narrow island in form of a
bow, as if the great Atlantic waves had bent it around, nowhere much above
a mile wide, twenty-six miles long, including the dry bars, and holding a
shallow late thirteen miles long in its centre.

"There it all lies spread like a map at his feet--grassy hill and sandy
valley fading away into the distance. On the foreground the outpost men
galloping their rough ponies into head-quarters, recalled by the flag
flying above his head; the West-end house of refuge, with bread and
matches, firewood and kettle, and directions to find water, and
head-quarters with flag-staff on the adjoining hill. Every sandy peak or
grassy knoll with a dead man's name or old ship's tradition--Baker's Hill,
Trott's Cove, Scotchman's Head, French Gardens--traditionary spot where
the poor convicts expiated their social crimes--the little burial-ground
nestling in the long grass of a high hill, and consecrated to the repose
of many a sea-tossed limb; and two or three miles down the shallow lake,
the South-side house and barn, and staff and boats lying on the lake
beside the door. Nine miles further down, by the help of a glass, he may
view the flag-staff at the foot of the lake, and five miles further the
East-end look-out, with its staff and watch-house. Herds of wild ponies
dot the hills, and black duck and sheldrakes are heading their young
broods on the mirror-like ponds. Seals innumerable are basking on the
warm sands, or piled like ledges of rock along the shores. The Glascow's
bow, the Maskonemet's stern, the East Boston's hulk, and the grinning ribs
of the well-fastened Guide are spotting the sands, each with its tale of
last adventure, hardships passed, and toil endured. The whole picture is
set in a silver-frosted frame of rolling surf and sea-ribbed sand."


The patrol duty of the hardy islander is thus described:

"Mounted upon his hardy pony, the solitary patrol starts upon his lonely
way. He rides up the centre valleys, ever and anon mounting a grassy hill
to look seaward, reaches the West-end bar, speculates upon perchance a
broken spar, an empty bottle, or a cask of beef struggling in the
land-wash--now fords the shallow lake, looking well for his land-range, to
escape the hole where Baker was drowned; and coming on the breeding-ground
of the countless birds, his pony's hoof with a reckless smash goes
crunching through a dozen eggs or callow young. He fairly puts his pony to
her mettle to escape the cloud of angry birds which, arising in countless
numbers, dent his weather-beaten tarpaulin with their sharp bills, and
snap his pony's ears, and confuse him with their sharp, shrill cries. Ten
minutes more, and he is holding hard to count the seals. There they lie,
old ocean flocks, resting their wave-tossed limbs--great ocean bulls, and
cows, and calves. He marks them all. The wary old male turns his broad
moustached nostrils to the tainted gale of man and horse sweeping down
upon them, and the whole herd are simultaneously lumbering a retreat. And
now he goes, plying his little short whip, charging the whole herd to cut
off their retreat for the pleasure and fun of galloping in and over and
amongst fifty great bodies, rolling and tumbling and tossing, and
splashing the surf in their awkward endeavors to escape."


And now to return to our pony, who seems to sympathize with his
fellow-traveller, for every instant he raises his head as if he would peep
into his note-book. Let me quote this of him and of his brethren:

"When the present breed of wild ponies was introduced, there is no record.
In an old print, seemingly a hundred years old, they are depicted as being
lassoed by men in cocked hats and antique habiliments. At present, three
or four hundred are their utmost numbers, and it is curious to observe
how in their figures and habits they approach the wild races of Mexico or
the Ukraine. They are divided into herds or gangs, each having a separate
pasture, and each presided over by an old male, conspicuous by the length
of his mane, rolling in tangled masses over eye and ear down to his fore
arm. Half his time seems taken up in tossing it from his eyes as he
collects his out-lying mares and foals on the approach of strangers, and
keeping them well up in a pack boldly faces the enemy whilst they retreat
at a gallop. If pressed, however, he, too, retreats on their rear. He
brooks no undivided allegiance, and many a fierce battle is waged by the
contending chieftains for the honor of the herd. In form they resemble the
wild horses of all lands: the large head, thick, shaggy neck of the male,
low withers, paddling gait, and sloping quarters, have all their
counterparts in the mustang and the horse of the Ukraine. There seems a
remarkable tendency in these horses to assume the Isabella colors, the
light chestnuts, and even the piebalds or paint horses of the Indian
prairies or the Mexican Savannah. The annual drive or herding, usually
resulting in the whole island being swept from end to end, and a kicking,
snorting, half-terrified mass driven into a large pound, from which two
or three dozen are selected, lassoed, and exported to town, affords fine
sport, wild riding, and plenty of falls."


Thus much for Sable Island.

    "Dark isle of mourning! aptly art thou named,
      For thou hast been the cause of many a tear;
    For deeds of treacherous strife too justly famed,
      The Atlantic's charnel--desolate and drear;
      A thing none love, though wand'ring thousands fear--
    If for a moment rest the Muse's wing
      Where through the waves thy sandy wastes appear,
    'Tis that she may one strain of horror sing,
    Wild as the dashing waves that tempests o'er thee fling."[H]

[H] Poem by the Hon. Joseph Howe.

And now pony we must part. Windsor approaches! Yonder among the embowering
trees is the residence of Judge Halliburton, the author of "Sam Slick."
How I admire him for his hearty hostility to republican institutions! It
is natural, straightforward, shrewd, and, no doubt, sincere. At the same
time, it affords an example of how much the colonist or satellite form of
government tends to limit the scope of the mind, which under happier skies
and in a wider intelligence might have shone to advantage.



CHAPTER XIX.

Windsor-upon-Avon--Ride to the Gasperau--The Basin of
Minas--Blomidon--This is the Acadian Land--Basil, the Blacksmith--A Yankee
Settlement--Useless Reflections.


Windsor lies upon the river Avon. It is not the Avon which runs by
Stratford's storied banks, but still it is the Avon. There is something in
a name. Witness it, O river of the Blue Noses!

I cannot recall a prettier village than this. If you doubt my word, come
and see it. Yonder we discern a portion of the Basin of Minas; around us
are the rich meadows of Nova Scotia. Intellect has here placed a crowning
college upon a hill; opulence has surrounded it with picturesque villas. A
ride into the country, a visit to a bachelor's lodge, studded with horns
of moose and cariboo, with woodland scenes and Landseer's pictures, and
then--over the bridge, and over the Avon, towards Grand-Pré and the
Gasperau! I suppose, by this time, my dear reader, you are tired of
sketches of lake scenery, mountain scenery, pines and spruces, strawberry
blossoms, and other natural features of the province? For my part, I rode
through a strawberry-bed three hundred miles long--from Sydney to
Halifax--diversified by just such patches of scenery, and was not tired of
it. But it is a different matter when you come to put it on paper. So I
forbear.

Up hill we go, soon to approach the tragic theatre. A crack of the whip, a
stretch of the leaders, and now, suddenly, the whole valley comes in view!
Before us are the great waters of Minas; yonder Blomidon bursts upon the
sight; and below, curving like a scimitar around the edge of the Basin,
and against the distant cliffs that shut out the stormy Bay of Fundy, is
the Acadian land--the idyllic meadows of Grand-Pré lie at our feet.

The Abbé Reynal's account of the colony, as it appeared one hundred years
ago, I take from the pages of Haliburton:

"Hunting and fishing, which had formerly been the delight of the colony,
and might have still supplied it with subsistence, had no further
attraction for a simple and quiet people, and gave way to agriculture,
which had been established in the marshes and low lands, by repelling with
dykes the sea and rivers which covered these plains. These grounds yielded
fifty for one at first, and afterwards fifteen or twenty for one at
least; wheat and oats succeeded best in them, but they likewise produced
rye, barley and maize. There were also potatoes in great plenty, the use
of which was become common. At the same time these immense meadows were
covered with numerous flocks. They computed as many as sixty thousand head
of horned cattle; and most families had several horses, though the tillage
was carried on by oxen. Their habitations, which were constructed of wood,
were extremely convenient, and furnished as neatly as substantial farmer's
houses in Europe. They reared a great deal of poultry of all kinds, which
made a variety in their food, at once wholesome and plentiful. Their
ordinary drink was beer and cider, to which they sometimes added rum.
Their usual clothing was in general the produce of their own flax, or the
fleeces of their own sheep; with these they made common linens and coarse
cloths. If any of them had a desire for articles of greater luxury, they
procured them from Annapolis or Louisburg, and gave in exchange corn,
cattle or furs. The neutral French had nothing else to give their
neighbors, and made still fewer exchanges among themselves; because each
separate family was able, and had been accustomed to provide for its own
wants. They therefore knew nothing of paper currency, which was so common
throughout the rest of North America. Even the small quantity of gold and
silver which had been introduced into the colony, did not inspire that
activity in which consists its real value. Their manners were of course
extremely simple. There was seldom a cause, either civil or criminal, of
importance enough to be carried before the Court of Judication,
established at Annapolis. Whatever little differences arose from time to
time among them, were amicably adjusted by their elders. All their public
acts were drawn by their pastors, who had likewise the keeping of their
wills; for which, and their religious services, the inhabitants paid a
twenty-seventh part of their harvest, which was always sufficient to
afford more means than there were objects of generosity.

"Real misery was wholly unknown, and benevolence anticipated the demands
of poverty.[I] Every misfortune was relieved, as it were, before it could
be felt, without ostentation on the one hand, and without meanness on the
other. It was, in short, a society of brethren; every individual of which
was equally ready to give, and to receive, what he thought the common
right of mankind. So perfect a harmony naturally prevented all those
connections of gallantry which are so often fatal to the peace of
families. This evil was prevented by early marriages, for no one passed
his youth in a state of celibacy. As soon as a young man arrived to the
proper age, the community built him a house, broke up the lands about it,
and supplied him with all the necessaries of life for a twelvemonth. There
he received the partner whom he had chosen, and who brought him her
portion in flocks. This new family grew and prospered like the others. In
1755, all together made a population of eighteen thousand souls. Such is
the picture of these people, as drawn by the Abbé Reynal. By many, it is
thought to represent a state of social happiness totally inconsistent with
the frailties and passions of human nature, and that it is worthy rather
of the poet than the historian. In describing a scene of rural felicity
like this, it is not improbable that his narrative has partaken of the
warmth of feeling for which he was remarkable; but it comes much nearer
the truth than is generally imagined. Tradition is fresh and positive in
the various parts of the United States where they were located respecting
their guileless, peaceable, and scrupulous character; and the descendants
of those, whose long cherished and endearing local attachment induced them
to return to the land of their nativity, still deserve the name of a mild,
frugal, and pious people."

[I] At the present moment, the poor in the Township of Clare are
maintained by the inhabitants at large; and being members of one great
family, spend the remainder of their days in visits from house to house.
An illegitimate child is almost unknown in the settlements.


As we rest here upon the summit of the Gasperau Mountain, and look down on
yonder valley, we can readily imagine such a people. A pastoral people,
rich in meadow-lands, secured by laborious dykes, and secluded from the
struggling outside world. But we miss the thatch-roof cottages, by
hundreds, which should be the prominent feature in the picture, the vast
herds of cattle, the belfries of scattered village chapels, the murmur of
evening fields,

    "Where peace was tinkling in the shepherd's bell,
    And singing with the reapers."

These no longer exist:

    "Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pré."

I sank back in the stage as it rolled down the mountain-road, and fairly
covered my eyes with my hands, as I repeated Webster's boast: "Thank God!
I too am an American." "But," said I, recovering, "thank God, I belong to
a State that has never bragged much of its great moral antecedents!" and
in that reflection I felt comforted, and the load on my back a little
lightened.

A few weeping willows, the never-failing relics of an Acadian settlement,
yet remain on the roadside; these, with the dykes and Great Prairie
itself, are the only memorials of a once happy people. The sun was just
sinking behind the Gasperau mountain as we entered the ancient village.
There was a smithy beside the stage-house, and we could see the dusky glow
of the forge within, and the swart mechanic

    "Take in his leathern lap the hoof of the horse as a plaything,
    Nailing the shoe in its place."

But it was not Basil the Blacksmith, nor one of his descendants, that held
the horse-hoof. The face of the smith was of the genuine New England type,
and just such faces as I saw everywhere in the village. In the shifting
panorama of the itinerary I suddenly found myself in a hundred-year-old
colony of genuine Yankees, the real true blues of Connecticut, quilted in
amidst the blue noses of Nova Scotia.

But of the poor Acadians not one remains now in the ancient village. It is
a solemn comment upon their peaceful and unrevengeful natures, that two
hundred settlers from Hew England remained unmolested upon their lands,
and that the descendants of those New England settlers now occupy them. A
solemn comment upon our history, and the touching epitaph of an
exterminated race.

Much as we may admire the various bays and lakes, the inlets,
promontories, and straits, the mountains and woodlands of this
rarely-visited corner of creation--and, compared with it, we can boast of
no coast scenery so beautiful--the valley of Grand-Pré transcends all the
rest in the Province. Only our valley of Wyoming, as an inland picture,
may match it, both in beauty and tradition. One has had its Gertrude, the
other its Evangeline. But Campbell never saw Wyoming, nor has Longfellow
yet visited the shores of the Basin of Minas. And I may venture to say,
neither poet has touched the key-note of divine anger which either story
might have awakened.

But let us be thankful for those simple and beautiful idyls. After all, it
is a question whether the greatest and noblest impulses of man are not
awakened rather by the sympathy we feel for the oppressed, than by the
hatred engendered by the acts of the oppressor?

I wish I could shake off these useless reflections of a bygone period. But
who can help it?

    "This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
    Leaped like the roe when it hears in the woodland the voice of the
            huntsman?
    Where is the thatch-roof village, the home of Acadian farmers--
    Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands?
    Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!"



CHAPTER XX.

The Valley of Acadia--A Morning Ride to the Dykes--An unexpected Wild-duck
Chase--High Tides--The Gasperau--Sunset--The Lamp of History--Conclusion.


The eastern sun glittered on roof and window-pane next morning. Neat
houses in the midst of trim gardens, rise tier above tier on the
hill-slopes that overlook the prairie lands. A green expanse, several
miles in width, extends to the edge of the dykes, and in the distance,
upon its verge, here and there a farmhouse looms up in the warm haze of a
summer morning. On the left hand the meadows roll away until they are
merged in the bases of the cliffs that, stretching forth over the blue
water of the Basin, end abruptly at Cape Blomidon. These cliffs are
precise counterparts of our own Palisades, on the Hudson. Then to the
right, again, the vision follows the hazy coast-line until it melts in the
indistinct outline of wave and vapor, back of which rises the Gasperau
mountain, that protects the valley on the east with corresponding barriers
of rock and forest. Within this hemicycle lie the waters of Minas,
bounded on the north by the horizon-line, the clouds and the sky.

Once happy Acadia nestled in this valley. Does it not seem incredible that
even Puritan tyranny could have looked with hard and pitiless eyes upon
such a scene, and invade with rapine, sword and fire, the peace and
serenity of a land so fair?

A morning ride across the Grand-Pré convinced me that the natural opulence
of the valley had not been exaggerated. These once desolate and bitter
marshes, reclaimed from the sea by the patient labor of the French
peasant, are about three miles broad by twenty miles long. The prairie
grass, even at this time of year, is knee-deep, and, as I was informed,
yields, without cultivation, from two to four tons to the acre. The
fertility of the valley in other respects is equally great. The dyke lands
are intersected by a network of white causeways, raised above the level of
the meadows. We passed over these to the outer edge of the dykes. "These
lands," said my young companion, "are filled in this season with immense
flocks of all kinds of feathered game." And I soon had reason to be
convinced of the truth of it, for just then we started up what seemed to
be a wounded wild-duck, upon which out leaped my companion from the wagon
and gave chase. A bunch of tall grass, upon the edge of a little pool,
lay between him and the game; he brushed hastily through this, and out of
it poured a little feathered colony. As these young ones were not yet able
to fly, they were soon captured--seven little black ducks safely nestled
together under the seat of the wagon, and poor Niobe trailed her broken
wing within a tempting distance in vain.

We were soon upon the dykes themselves, which are raised upon the edge of
the meadows, and are quite insignificant in height, albeit of great extent
otherwise. But from the bottom of the dykes to the edge of yonder
sparkling water, there is a bare beach, full three miles in extent. What
does this mean? What are these dykes for, if the enemy is so far off? The
answer to this query discloses a remarkable phenomenon. The tide in this
part of the world rises sixty or seventy feet every twelve hours. At
present the beach is bare; the five rivers of the valley--the Gasperau,
the Cornwallis, the Canard, the Habitant, the Perot--are empty. Betimes
the tide will roll in in one broad unretreating wave, surging and
shouldering its way over the expanse, filling all the rivers, and dashing
against the protecting barriers under our feet; but before sunset the
rivers will be emptied again, the bridges will uselessly hang in the air
over the deserted channels, the beach will yawn wide and bare where a
ship of the line might have anchored. Sometimes a stranger schooner from
New England, secure in a safe distance from shore, drops down in six or
seven fathom. Then, suddenly, the ebb sweeps off from the intruder, and
leaves his two-master keeled over, with useless anchor and cable exposed,
"to point a moral and adorn a tale." Sometimes a party will take boat for
a row upon the placid bosom of this bay; but woe unto them if they consult
not the almanac! A mistake may leave them high and dry on the beach, miles
from the dykes, and as the tide comes in with a _bore_, a sudden influx,
wave above wave, the risk is imminent.

I passed two days in this happy valley, sometimes riding across to the
dykes, sometimes visiting the neighboring villages, sometimes wandering on
foot over the hills to the upper waters of the rivers. And the Gasperau in
particular is an attractive little mountain sylph, as it comes skipping
down the rocks, breaking here and there out in a broad cascade, or
rippling and singing in the heart of the grand old forest. I think my
friend Kensett might set his pallet here, and pitch a brief tent by Minas
and the Gasperau to advantage. For my own part, I would that I had my
trout-pole and a fly!

But now the sun sinks behind the cliffs of Blow-me-down. To-morrow I must
take the steamer for home, "sweet home!" What shall I say in conclusion?
Shall I stop here and write _finis_, or once more trim the lamp of
history? I feel as it were the whole wrongs of the French Province
concentrated here, as in the last drop of its life blood, no tender dream
of pastoral description, no clever veil of elaborate verse, can conceal
the hideous features of this remorseless act, this wanton and useless deed
of New England cruelty. Do not mistake me, my reader. Do not think that I
am prejudiced against New England. But I hate tyranny--under whatever
disguise, or in whatever shape--in an individual, or in a nation--in a
state, or in a congregation of states; so do you; and of course you will
agree with me, that so long as the maxim obtains, "that the object
justifies the means," certain effects must follow, and this maxim was the
guiding star of our forefathers when they marched into the French
province.

The peculiar situation of the Acadians, embarrassed the colonists of
Massachusetts. The French _neutrals_, had taken the oath of fidelity, but
they refused to take the oath of allegiance which compelled them to bear
arms against their countrymen, and the Indians, who from first to last had
been their constant and devoted friends. The long course of persecution,
for a century and a half, had struck but one spark of resistance from
this people--the stand of the three hundred young warriors at Fort Séjour.
Upon this act followed the retaliation of the Pilgrim Fathers. They
determined to remove and disperse the Acadians among the British colonies.
To carry out this edict, Colonel Winslow, with five transports and a
sufficient force of New England troops, was dispatched to the Basin of
Minas. At a consultation, held between Colonel Winslow and Captain Murray,
it was agreed that a proclamation should be issued at the different
settlements, requiring the attendance of the people at the respective
posts on the same day; which proclamation would be so ambiguous in its
nature, that the object for which they were to assemble could not be
discerned, and so peremptory in its terms, as to insure implicit
obedience. This instrument having been drafted and approved, was
distributed according to the original plan. That which was addressed to
the people inhabiting the country now comprised within the limit of King's
County, was as follows:

"'_To the inhabitants of the District of Grand-Pré, Minas, River Canard,
etc.; as well ancient, as young men and lads_:

"'Whereas, his Excellency the Governor has instructed us of his late
resolution, respecting the matter proposed to the inhabitants, and has
ordered us to communicate the same in person, his Excellency, being
desirous that each of them should be fully satisfied of his Majesty's
intentions, which he has also ordered us to communicate to you, such as
they have been given to him: We therefore order and strictly enjoin, by
these presents, all of the inhabitants, as well of the above-named
District, as of all the other Districts, both old men and young men, as
well as all the lads of ten years of age, to attend at the church at
Grand-Pré, on Friday the fifth instant, at three of the clock in the
afternoon, that we may impart to them what we are ordered to communicate
to them; declaring that no excuse will be admitted on any pretence
whatever, on pain of forfeiting goods and chattels, in default of real
estate.--Given at Grand-Pré, second September, 1755, and twenty-ninth year
of his Majesty's reign.
                                                            JOHN WINSLOW.'


"In obedience to this summons, four hundred and eighteen able-bodied men
assembled. These being shut into the church (for that too had become an
arsenal), Colonel Winslow placed himself with his officers, in the centre,
and addressed them thus:

"'GENTLEMEN: I have received from his Excellency, Governor Lawrence, the
King's commission, which I have in my hand; and by his orders you are
convened together, to manifest to you his Majesty's final resolution to
the French inhabitants of this his province of Nova Scotia; who, for
almost half a century, have had more indulgence granted them than any of
his subjects in any part of his dominions; what use you have made of it
you yourselves best know. The part of duty I am now upon, though
necessary, is very disagreeable to my natural make and temper, as I know
it must be grievous to you, who are of the same species; but it is not my
business to animadvert, but to obey such orders as I receive, and
therefore, without hesitation, shall deliver you his Majesty's orders and
instructions, namely, that your lands and tenements, cattle of all kinds
and live stock of all sorts, are forfeited to the Crown; with all other
your effects, saving your money and household goods, and you yourselves to
be removed from this his province.

"'Thus it is peremptorily his Majesty's orders, that the whole French
inhabitants of these Districts be removed; and I am, through his Majesty's
goodness, directed to allow you liberty to carry off your money and
household goods, as many as you can without discommoding the vessels you
go in. I shall do everything in my power that all those goods be secured
to you, and that you are not molested in carrying them off; also that
whole families shall go in the same vessel, and make this remove, which I
am sensible must give you a great deal of trouble, as easy as his
Majesty's service will admit: and hope that, in whatever part of the world
you may fall, you may be faithful subjects, a peaceable and happy people.
I must also inform you that it is his Majesty's pleasure that you remain
in security under the inspection and direction of the troops I have the
honor to command.'

"The poor people, unconscious of any crime, and full of concern for having
incurred his Majesty's displeasure, petitioned Colonel Winslow for leave
to visit their families, and entreated him to detain a part only of the
prisoners as hostages; urging with tears and prayers their intention to
fulfill their promise of returning after taking leave of their kindred and
consoling them in their distresses and misfortunes. The answer of Colonel
Winslow to this petition was to grant leave of absence to twenty only, for
a single day. This sentence they bore with fortitude and resignation, but
when the hour of embarkation arrived, in which they were to part with
their friends and relatives without a hope of ever seeing them again, and
to be dispersed among strangers, whose language, customs, and religion,
were opposed to their own, the weakness of human nature prevailed, and
they were overpowered with the sense of their miseries. The young men were
first ordered to go on board of one of the vessels. This they instantly
and peremptorily refused to do, declaring that they would not leave their
parents; but expressed a willingness to comply with the order, provided
they were permitted to embark with their families. The request was
rejected, and the troops were ordered to fix bayonets and advance toward
the prisoners, a motion which had the effect of producing obedience on the
part of the young men, who forthwith commenced their march. The road from
the chapel to the shore--just one mile in length--was crowded with women
and children; who, on their knees, greeted them as they passed, with their
tears and their blessings; while the prisoners advanced with slow and
reluctant steps, weeping, praying, and singing hymns. This detachment was
followed by the seniors, who passed through the same scene of sorrow and
distress. In this manner was the whole male part of the population of the
District of Minas put on board the five transports stationed in the river
Gasperau."

Now, my dear lady; you who have followed the fortunes of Evangeline, in
Longfellow's beautiful poem, and haply wept over her weary pilgrimage,
pray give a thought to the rest of the 18,000 sent into a similar exile!
And you, my dear friend, who have listened to the oracles of Plymouth
pulpits, take a Sabbath afternoon, and calmly consider how far you may
venture to place your faith upon it, whether you can subscribe to the
idolatrous worship of that boulder stone, and say--

    "Rock of ages cleft for me,
    Let me to thy bosom flee;"

or whether you measure any other act between this present time and the
past eighteen hundred years, except by the eternal principles of
Righteousness and Truth?

Gentle reader, as we sit in this little inn-room, and see the ragged edge
of the moon shimmering over the meadows of Grand-Pré, do we not feel a
touch of the sin that soiled her garments a hundred years ago? Had we not
better abstain from blowing our Puritan trumpets so loudly, and wreathe
with crape our banners for a season? Let us rather date from more recent
achievements. Let us take a fresh start in history and brag of nothing
that antedates Bunker Hill. Here everybody has a hand to applaud. But for
the age that preceded it, the least said about it the better! There, out
lamp! and good night! to-morrow "Home, sweet Home!" But I love this
province!



APPENDIX.


Peccavi! I hope the reader will forgive me for my luckless description of
the procession to lay the corner stone of the Halifax Lunatic Asylum, in
Chapter I. No person can trifle or jest with the _object_ of so noble a
charity. But the procession itself was pretty much as I have described it;
indeed, pretty much like all the civic processions I have ever witnessed
in any country. The following account of the results of that good work may
interest the reader:

"A visit to the LUNATIC ASYLUM building, on the eastern side of the
harbor, furnishes some notes of interest. The walk from the ferry has very
pleasing features of village, farming and woodland character. The building
stands on a rising ground, which commands a noble view of the western bank
of the harbor opposite; northward, of the Narrows and Basin; and
southward, of the islands, headlands and ocean. The medical superintendent
of the institution is actively engaged carrying out plans toward the
completion of the building, and gives very courteous facilities to
visitors. The part of the Asylum which now appears of such respectable
dimensions is just one-third part of the intended building. It is expected
to accommodate ninety patients; the completed building, two hundred and
fifty. The private and public rooms, cooking, serving, heating and other
apartments appear to be very judiciously arranged, with an eye to good
order, cheerfulness and thorough efficiency. The building is well drained,
defective mason-work has been remedied, and all appears steadily advancing
towards the consummation of wishes long entertained by its philanthropic
projectors. The building is to be lighted with gas manufactured on the
premises; all the apartments are to be heated by steam; and the water
required for various purposes of the establishment, after being conveyed
from the lakes, is to be raised to the loft immediately under the roof,
and there held in tanks, ready for demand. The roofing we understand to be
a model for lightness of material and firmness of construction. The
heating apparatus occupies the underground floor. It consists of numerous
coils of metal tubes, to which the steam is conveyed from an out-building,
which contains the furnace and other apparatus. From the hot-air apartment
the warm air is conveyed, by means of flues, to the various rooms of the
building, each flue being under the immediate control of the officers of
the institution. Ventilation is obtained by flues communicating with the
space just below the roof; and the impure air is expected to pass off
through openings in the cupola which rises above the roof ridges. By the
heating apparatus the danger and trouble consequent on numerous fires are
avoided, at about the same expense which the common mode would cause. Very
judicious arrangements for drainage, laying off the grounds, etc., appear
to have been adopted, and are in progress. The building is to be
approached by a gracefully curved carriage road. The grounds are to be
surrounded by a hawthorn fence, immediately within which will be a shaded,
thoroughly drained path for walking. The slopes of the hill in front are
in course of levelling, and will soon present a scene of lawn and grain
field; while a southwest area is laid off as an extensive garden and
nursery of trees and shrubs. This important appendage to such an
institution is charmingly situated, as regards scenery; and, with its
terraces, plantation, vegetable and flower departments, etc., will soon be
a very admirable place of resort for purposes of sanitary toil, or
retirement and rest. We rejoice that, altogether, the establishment
promises to be a very decided proof of provincial advance, and a credit to
the country. After all the difficulties, delays and doubts that have
occurred, this is a very gratifying result. The building is expected to be
ready for reception of patients sometime in September, or the early part
of October."--_Halifax Morning Sun_, _June 14, 1858_.

       *       *       *       *       *

HALIFAX.--The following letter of a correspondent of the _New York Times_
may interest the reader. It is a very fair account of the aspect of the
chief city of this Province:

"The Lieutenant-Governor, Sir J. Gaspard le Marchant, is said to be a
severe disciplinarian. He served in the wars of the Peninsula, and is now
being rewarded for his distinguished services as Governor of this
Province. He reviews the troops twice a week upon the Common, and is very
strict. The evolutions of the rank and file are the most perfect
exhibitions of the kind I have ever witnessed. During one of these reviews
I took occasion to remark to a citizen that they were _almost_ equal to
the Seventh Regiment of New York. The bystanders laughed incredulously.
The bands are as perfect in movement as the troops. The whole affair
passes off literally like clock-work, a pendulum being kept in sight of
the reviewing officers, by which to measure the music of the bands, and
step of the soldiers. Each review concludes with a presentation of the
royal standard--the identical colors which were first unfurled upon the
Redan by this regiment at the fall of Sebastopol. The ceremony is
impressive, an almost superstitious reverence being paid to the triumphant
bunting. The review ended, the band remains for a half hour to play for
the entertainment of the citizens, who generally attend in large numbers.

"There are among the officers and soldiers of the 62d and 63d many bearing
upon their left breasts the Victoria medal, and other decorations bestowed
for distinguished bravery at Sebastopol. The most eminent of these is
Colonel Ingall, who has both breasts covered with these testimonials of
bravery. They are not, however, confined to the officers, but many of the
rank and file are favored in like manner.

"The military as a whole are popular among the citizens, and many of the
officers, and not a few of the privates since their return from the
Crimea, have stormed other Malakoffs, when the victory has been as signal,
if the risks have not been as great, carrying off, as trophies, some of
the finest girls in the place.

"Upon entering this harbor from the sea the principal objects of interest
to a stranger are the fortifications which line its two sides, the first
three or four being round castles pierced for two tiers of guns, and
having temporary wooden roofs thrown over them to protect the works; they
are situated upon prominent points and islands commanding both entrances.
The first principal fort is that situated at the junction of the
'northwest arm' with the harbor. This is a granite structure of some
pretensions, and during the past season was, with the high, level lands
which surround it, made the head-quarters or camping-ground for the
troops. Tents here covered all the hill-side, presenting a very
picturesque appearance; camp life was adopted in all its details, and the
most thorough drilling was gone through with, including the digging of
trenches, throwing up earth-works, etc. The fortifications upon George's
Island, just below the town, are being extended and strengthened, and when
completed, will be the principal defence of the harbor. The Citadel or
Fort George, occupies the high, round hill which rises directly back of
the town, to about three hundred feet above the tide, and perfectly
commands the town and adjacent harbor. There is said to be room enough
within its walls for all the inhabitants of the town, to which they could
retreat in case of a siege. From a personal inspection, however, I judge
they would have to pack them pretty closely. The works cover an area of
about six acres, there being a double line of forts, composed of massive
granite, and presenting every variety of angle. A ditch twenty-five feet
deep and sixty feet wide surrounds it on all sides, with a single entrance
or bridgeway, on the east aide, which could be removed in an hour. Two
ravelins, which have been lately completed within the walls, are elegant
specimens of masonry. The whole hill is being rounded off, and a line of
earth-works are to be constructed at its base at every salient angle. The
parapet is now covered at wide intervals, with 32-pounders, mounted upon
iron carriages. Extensive changes and improvements are being adopted, and
when the present plans are complete, this fort, it is said, will mount
over 400 guns. The cast-iron swivel carriages are condemned as being too
liable to injury from cannon-shots, and are all to be replaced by others
made of teak-wood.

"There exists, evidently, some reluctance among the officers in command to
a close inspection of these works by foreigners. An instance in point
occurred to-day. There were two young men, Americans, looking at the fort.
They had obtained permission, which is given in writing by the
Quartermaster-General, to inspect the Signal-Station, etc., but they were
observed with paper and pencil in hand, taking down particular memoranda
of the fortification, the size of guns, their number, the positions of the
ravelins and what not. As this was considered a palpable breach of
courtesy, a sergeant tapped them on the shoulder and led them out of the
gate, with a reprimand for what he called their want of good manners. It
is a long time since anything of the kind has occurred.

"This Citadel is the place from which all vessels are signalled to the
town. The signal stations are four in number; the first being at the
Citadel, the second at 'York Redcut,' five miles down the harbor, the
third, 'Camperdown,' some ten miles further, and the fourth, with which
this last signals, is the island of 'Sambro,' ten miles south of the
entrance to the harbor. The system is carried on by means of a series of
black balls, which are hoisted in different positions upon two yard-arms,
a long and a short one, placed one above the other on a tall flag-staff.
The communication is very rapid, and is exempt from liability to mistakes.
A sentence transmitting an order of any kind from one of the lower
stations is sent and received in less than two minutes. The distance from
'Sambro,' the outer station, is about twenty miles from the Citadel.
Maryatt's code of marine signals is in use here. The new marine code,
lately issued under the auspices of the London Board of Trade, 'for all
nations,' is pronounced by the operator as too complicated to become of
any practical use, necessitating, as it would, the employment of a
'flag-lieutenant' on board every ship, who should do nothing but the
signalling, since not one captain in a hundred would ever have the time or
patience to acquaint himself with its mysteries.

"Some works of internal improvement are in progress, which will be
important in promoting the prosperity and in developing the resources of
this Province. A railroad across the Isthmus to Truro, with a branch-road
to Windsor, will connect the interior towns with Halifax, and furnish
_modern_ facilities for communication with the other Provinces and with
the States. Twenty-two miles of the road are already completed, and the
remainder will be finished soon. A canal is also in progress from the head
of Halifax harbor (north side) in the direction of Truro, which is to
connect a remarkable chain of lakes with the Shubenacadie River, which
empties into Minas' Basin at the head of the Bay of Fundy. Great results
are anticipated in favor of the farming and other interests along its
route. The work is in an advanced stage towards completion.

"There is, it is said, no portion of the American Continent so abundantly
supplied with water communication as Nova Scotia. The whole interior is a
continuous chain of lakes. The coast is rocky and most unpromising, but
the interior is said to contain some of the best farming land east of
Illinois. Hon. Albert Pillsbury, the American Consul, who is thoroughly
conversant with the resources of the Province, declares it, in his
opinion, the richest portion of the American Continent--richest in coal,
minerals and agricultural resources. Mr. Pillsbury takes advantage of his
well-deserved popularity in the Province to tell the Blue Noses some home
truths. On one occasion he told them it was evident the Lord knew they
were the laziest people on the earth, and had, therefore, taken pity on
them, and given them more facilities for transacting their business than
were possessed by any other people under the sun.

"In the newspaper line Nova Scotia appears to be fully up to the spirit of
the age. The following is a list of all kinds published in the Province:

"_Tri-Weeklies._--Morning Journal, Morning Chronicle, Morning Advertiser,
the Sun, and British Colonist.

"_Weeklies._--Acadian Recorder, Nova Scotian, Weekly Sun, and Weekly
Colonist.

"_Religious (?)._--Church Times, Episcopal; Presbyterian Witness,
Presbyterian Church of Nova Scotia, etc.; Monthly Record, Established
Church of Scotland or Kirk; Christian Messenger, Baptist; Catholic, Roman
Catholic; Wesleyan, Methodist.

"_Temperance._--The Abstainer.

"_Weeklies._--Yarmouth Herald, published at Yarmouth; Yarmouth Tribune
(semi-weekly); Liverpool Transcript, Liverpool; Western News, Bridgetown;
Avon Herald (semi-weekly), Windsor; Eastern Chronicle, Pictou; Antigonish
Casket, Antigonish; Cape Breton News, Sidney, C. B.

"In telegraphs they are better supplied than any other portion of the
world of equal territory, and the same number of inhabitants. There are
thirty-nine offices, and 1,300 miles of telegraphic wire in this
Province.

"The Reciprocity Treaty has largely increased the trade of Nova Scotia,
but the means of intercommunication are still far behind the wants of the
people. When it was proposed a year ago to place a steamer upon the line
from Halifax to Boston, to carry freight and passengers, the idea was
scouted as chimerical, and certain to fail. The Eastern State, a
Philadelphia-built propeller of 330 tons, was purchased and commenced to
ply fortnightly; she has accommodations for fifty passengers, and two
hundred tons of freight. She has seldom had less than fifty passengers
upon any trip, and upon the last one from Halifax there were one hundred
and sixty-three. The fare from Boston to Halifax is $10, meals included.
She has also had a good supply of freight, and has cleared for her owners
the last year over $2,500. Captain Killam, her commander, is highly
esteemed, for his sailorly and gentlemanly qualities. In the opinion of
shrewd business men, a steamer would pay between this and New York direct.
At present, Boston virtually controls the fish-market in part by her
intimate relations with the Provinces, and New York buys second-hand from
them, when they might as well have their fish from first hands.

"Government lands are to be purchased in any quantity at $1 per acre, and
by an act of the Provincial Legislature, aliens are as free to purchase as
native citizens or residents. Several American capitalists have availed
themselves of the opening, and invested largely in the 'timber and farming
lands of Nova Scotia, and an infusion of this element is all that is
required to develop a prosperous future for this Province.'      "SAILE."

"TORIES.--The number of loyalists who arrived in Nova Scotia was very
great. They constituted a large proportion of the original settlers in
almost every section of the colony. So termed because of their loyalty to
the sovereign, and unwillingness to remain in the revolted and independent
States, they found their way hither chiefly in the years 1783-4. Sometimes
termed refugees, because of their seeking refuge on British soil from
those with whom they had contended in the great Revolutionary struggle,
the names are often interchanged, whilst sometimes they are joined
together in the title of 'Loyalist Refugees.' No less than 20,000 arrived
prior to the close of the year in which the Independence of the United
States was acknowledged. These chose spots suited to their inclinations,
if not always adapted to their wants, in the counties of Digby, Annapolis,
Guysboro', Shelburne, and Hants. In these five counties, for the most
part, are resident the children of the loyalists, though, as hinted, they
are to be met with in smaller companies elsewhere.

"We cannot doubt that the purest motives and highest sense of duty
actuated very many, though not all, of this vast number, when they turned
their backs upon the houses and farms, the pursuits and business, the
friends and relations of past years. To this may, in some measure, be
attributed the marked loyalty of this province. Principles of obedience to
the laws, and allegiance to the crown, were instilled into the minds of
their children, who in their turn handed down the sentiments of their
ancestors until the good leaven spread, and tended to strengthen that
loyalty which already existed in the hearts of the people. More than once
has this trait been manifested by our countrymen in town and country. When
the first blood of the rebellion in Canada was shed in 1837, meetings
were held in every village and settlement in the province, each
proclaiming in fervent language the deepest attachment to the sovereign
and the government, while in Halifax the people determined to support the
wives and children of the absent troops. When two years later the
inhabitants of the State of Maine prepared to invade New Brunswick, the
announcement was received with intense feelings of regard for the honor of
the British Crown. The House, which was then sitting, voted £100,000, and
8,000 men to aid the New Brunswickers in repelling the invaders, and
rising in a body gave three cheers for the queen, and three for their
loyal brethren of the sister province. Long may the feeling continue to
exist, and grow within our borders! long may we remain beneath the mild
away of that gracious queen, whose virtues shed lustre on the crown she
wears! long may every Nova Scotian's voice exclaim, 'God save our noble
Queen.'"--_Nova Scotia and Nova Scotians, by_ REV. GEO. W. HILL, A.M.

"NEGROES.--There are to be found in the colony some five thousand negroes,
whose ancestors came to the province in four distinct bodies, and at
different times. The first class were originally slaves, who accompanied
their masters from the older colonies; but as the opinion prevailed that
the courts would not recognize a state of slavery, they were liberated. On
receiving their freedom they either remained in the employment of their
former owners, or obtaining a small piece of land in the neighborhood,
eked out a miserable existence, rarely improving their condition, bodily
or mental.

"There were, secondly, a number of free negroes, who arrived at the
conclusion of the American Revolutionary war; but an immense number of
these were removed at their own request to Sierra Leone, being
dissatisfied with both the soil and climate.

"Shortly after the removal of these people, the insurgent negroes of
Jamaica were transported to Nova Scotia; they were known by the name of
Maroons in the island, and still termed so, on their landing at Halifax.
Their story is replete with interest: during their brief stay in Nova
Scotia they gave incredible trouble from their lawless and licentious
habits, in addition to costing the government no less a sum than ten
thousand pounds a year. Their idleness and gross conduct at last
determined the government to send them, as the others, to Sierra Leone,
which was accordingly done in the year 1803, after having resided at
Preston for the space of four years.

"The last arrival of Africans in a body was at the conclusion of the
second American War in 1815, when a large number were permitted to take
refuge on board the British squadron, blockading the Chesapeake and
southern harbors, and were afterwards landed at Halifax. The blacks now
resident in Nova Scotia are descendants chiefly of the first and last
importations--the greater part of the two intermediate having been
removed. Even some of these last were transported by their own wish to
Trinidad, while those who remained settled down at Preston and Hammonds
Plains, or wandered to Windsor and other places close at hand.

"But little changed in any respect--their persons and their property--they
have passed through much wretchedness during the last half century. Their
natural indolence and love of ease being ill suited to our latitude, in
which a long and severe winter demands unceasing diligence, and more than
ordinary prudence, in those who depend upon manual labor for their means
of subsistence. Amongst them, however, are to be found a few who are
prudent, diligent and prosperous. These are worthy of the more esteem, in
proportion as they have met with greater obstacles, and happily have
surmounted them."--_Ibid._

EMINENT MEN.--Besides many gentlemen of rare talents, distinguished in the
annals of the province, the following Nova Scotians have won a more
extended reputation: Sir EDWARD BELCHER, the famous Arctic navigator;
Rear-Admiral PROVO WALLIS, who captured our own vessel the Chesapeake,
after the death of his superior, Captain Brooke. The words of Lawrence,
"Don't give up the ship," record the memorable achievement of this naval
officer. DONALD MCKAY, who after perfecting his education in New York as a
ship-builder, removed to Boston, Massachusetts, and there has won for that
city distinguished honors; THOMAS C. HALIBURTON, the author of "Sam
Slick," and a great number of other clever books; SAMUEL CUNARD, the
father of the Cunard line! who does not know him? General BECKWITH, not
less known in the annals of philanthropy; GILBERT STUART NEWTON, artist;
General Inglis, the defender of Lucknow, and General William Fenwick
Williams, the hero of Kars. The mere mention of such names is
sufficient--their eulogy suggests itself.

       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note: For clarity, changes have been applied to the text
as follows:

Page

15. Final hyphen (chapter 3) replaced by em-dash

16. Chapters 3 and 4: 'Louisburg' replaced with Louisburgh

26. Closing quotation marks added after ...a halo of fog.

49. Hyphen removed from 'sun-shine' to ensure consistency with other uses

54. Hyphen removed from 'bag-pipe' to ensure consistency with other uses.

56. Hyphen removed from 'main-land' to ensure consistency with other uses

69. Hyphen removed from 'road-side' to ensure consistency with other uses

70. Hyphen added to 'sawbuck' to ensure consistency with other uses

71. Ending quotation marks added to end of paragraph: ...like a beast
neither.

76. Full stop replaced by comma between ...such a look and "you must
know...

77. Hyphen removed from 'over-land' to ensure consistency with other uses

79. Hyphen removed from 'light-house' to ensure consistency with other uses

79. Hyphen removed from 'over-head' to ensure consistency with other uses

88. Hyphen added to 'overcoats' to ensure consistency with other uses

89. Hyphen removed from 'mid-night' to ensure consistency with other uses

96. Hyphen removed from 'over-head' to ensure consistency with other uses

97. Hyphen removed from 'night-fall' to ensure consistency with other uses

97. Duplicate 'of' removed from ...the lady of of the "Balaklava" put on...

99. Hyphen removed from 'sea-board' to ensure consistency with other uses

100. Hyphen removed from 'sweet-meats' to ensure consistency with other
uses

101. Opening quotation marks added to paragraph Picton, I will be frank...

118. Closing quotation marks removed from ..."On board the 'Vigilant,'

122. Closing quotation marks added to paragraph ...milk and potatoes
down there.

134. Closing quotation marks added to paragraph ...the inevitable hour'----

134. Opening quotation marks added to paragraph 'The paths of glory lead...

147. Hyphen replaced by space in 'Nova-Scotia' to ensure consistency

153. Hyphen removed in 'moon-light' to ensure consistency

154. Hyphen removed in 'patch-work' to ensure consistency

154. Hyphen removed in 'chamber-maid' to ensure consistency

160. 'Kavanah' replaced by 'Kavanagh' to ensure consistency

161. Hyphen removed in 'oat-meal' to ensure consistency

197. Hyphen added to 'doorway' to ensure consistency

200. Hyphen added to 'fireplace' to ensure consistency

201. Hyphen added to 'keynote' to ensure consistency

208. Spelling of 'melliflous' corrected to 'mellifluous'

209. Spelling of 'hackmatack' standardised to ensure consistency with
other uses

211. Hyphen removed from 'sunlight' to ensure consistency with other
uses

217. Comma removed from At, last we approach...

222. Opening quotation marks added after em dash in ...said he--'The
Scarlet Letter.'...

232. Hyphen added to 'Grand Pré' to ensure consistency with other uses

233. Hyphen added to 'overcoats' to ensure consistency with other uses

242. Uncock capitalised in  "uncock those pistols

245. Closing quotation marks added after ..."Canada?

266. Hyphen added to 'gaslights' to ensure consistency

284. Hyphen removed in 'hand-writing' to ensure consistency

316. Hyphen added to 'Grand Pré' to ensure consistency with other uses

329. Hyphen added to 'headquarters' to ensure consistency





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